LONG BEACH - Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the day that Superstorm Sandy devastated much of Long Island, victims of the storm gathered in Long Beach today to remember what was taken from them by Sandy, and also to commemorate how far they've come since then.

Residents who endured the storm, like Steve Edelson, know firsthand how hard the journey has been. His home was destroyed by the surging waters, but he has rebuilt, and he moved back home just two weeks ago.

"It feels great to have a bed to sleep in," Edelson says. "We never abandoned ship, we stayed in Long Beach for the whole year at friends' houses."

First responders were thanked today for putting their lives on the line to save others during the storm's most harrowing hours. Also thanked were the unsung heroes, like the neighbors who reached out to help each other as the floodwaters seeped higher and higher.

A documentary made by local filmmakers was shown, detailing the hours before Sandy hit and the long, tireless journey after the storm.

On Tuesday evening, exactly one year after Sandy made landfall, Long Beach residents will place candles in their windows to "light the way home" for people who are still displaced.