‘Blessed to be here’: People recognize Memorial Day in Oak Island

OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — Many people have the day off to recognize Memorial Day and several choose to head to the beach for a day of reflection and relaxation.

The Town of Oak Island was buzzing with beachgoers on Monday who seemed extra grateful to be able to spend their day on the beach following a very difficult year.

“We’re all blessed to be here. We should be so thankful for the people who fought and gave us this blessing to be out here on this beach,” Oak Island resident Kirk Mariotte said.

Not only was the beach town impacted by the pandemic, but Hurricane Isaias tore through and damaged homes and businesses and depleted the dunes in August.

Visitors and locals alike are excited to see things returning to normal.

“Pretty much all the dunes just completely pushed back another couple hundred feet. Sand all over the place,” Northern Virginia resident Blake Sparling said. “It’s beautiful now. It’s full-fledged for summertime now.”

“It makes me really happy that I can come out and enjoy my favorite beach and see the local businesses open and lots of people on the beach enjoying the sand and the ocean again,” Raleigh resident Riley Averette said.

“We’re blessed. Everything’s coming back. It’s beautiful out here again,” Mariotte said.
The dredge boats are gone so there’s no more pumping sand and everybody’s just enjoying themselves.”

Though the breezy conditions may have kept the beach from being jam-packed, people are very optimistic that this summer will be a busy one.

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