Local politicians, survivors and family members of those murdered during last October’s attack at the Tree of Life building gathered at the City County Building last week to declare Oct. 27 a day to remember and repair in perpetuity.
The Oct. 8 event was marked by comments from Mayor Bill Peduto and Councilperson Erika Strassburger, who both praised local responses following the massacre.
“In the darkest time of our city there were little shimmers of light, light that shined through evil, light that was a part of connecting all of us,” said Peduto.
“It was an incredibly powerful show of respect, reverence and neighborly love,” said Strassburger.
A special resolution designating Oct. 27 as “Remember Repair Together Day” in the City of Pittsburgh was shared.
Along with specific mention of Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Cecil Rosenthal, David Rosenthal, Bernice Simon, Sylvan Simon, Dan Stein, Melvin Wax and Irving Younger, the 11 murdered on Oct. 27, the resolution recorded the names of Daniel Leger and Andrea Wedner, who each received gunshot wounds, and first responding officers Anthony Burke, Timothy Matson, Daniel Mead, Tyler Pashel, John Persin and Michael Smidga.
The resolution additionally cited “the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, the broader Muslim community and so many diverse communities throughout the region [that] reached out with compassion and support, showing the world that acts of violence will only serve to further unite faithful people across religions and traditions,” as well as members of the Jewish community, including rabbis and volunteers from the two chevra kadisha and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh and Jewish Family and Community Services of Pittsburgh.
“At the families’ request, we marked this solemn occasion with a resolution from both City Council and the Mayor, ensuring that Oct. 27 is remembered not just this year, but every year in perpetuity,” said Strassburger, who along with Councilperson Corey O’Connor represents Squirrel Hill.
“Recognizing this is a painful and traumatic mark. We worked hard to be as sensitive as possible to those most affected,” continued Strassburger. “This terrible event was history-making for the worst of reasons and was one of the darkest days in Pittsburgh. However, the action from first responders and from leaders of other faith communities is also part of this remembrance and in a way is also history-making.” PJC
Adam Reinherz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.