‘It’s Still So Traumatic’: Buffalo Dedicates Memorial To Victims Two Years After Racist Mass Shooting

Source: Kent Nishimura / Getty

On Tuesday, Buffalo residents joined the city to honor the second anniversary of the tragic mass shooting at the Tops supermarket that ended in the loss of 10 innocent Black lives.

Today, I was in Buffalo for the opening of the Tops Honor Space, a memorial dedicated to the 10 people who were killed in this horrific attack.

This beautiful memorial will honor their lives and remind us of the true strength and resilience of this community. #BuffaloStrong pic.twitter.com/loF39ZbYCL

— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) May 14, 2024

The City Of Buffalo honored the victims with a memorial sculpture located outside of the Tops supermarket, where the racist shooting took place.

According to AP, the sculpture was created by Buffalo artist Valeria Cray and her son, Hiram Cray, as a part of a 5/14 Tops Honor Space, which includes a small park-like area with benches, pillars and gardens. The space also features a pear tree gifted to Buffalo through the 9/11 Memorial & Museum’s Survivor Tree Seedling Program.

During the ceremony, residents immersed themselves in the park-like memorial, which for some brought back traumatizing memories from that horrific day. 

“It’s still so traumatic,” Buffalo resident Lisa Kragbe told AP as she rested on the park bench in the Tops Honor Space during the ceremony. 

On Monday, the city unveiled its final design of a $5 million larger memorial, which will be off-site. The memorial, called “Seeing Us,” was designed by Jin Young Song and Douglass Alligood and will include ten interconnected pillars, inscribed with the names of victims and survivors, each with a unique arc and height, faced with stone. 

It will also feature a sweeping support building that operates as a central hub for education, exhibitions, community activities, gatherings, and events, according to a press release from the Governor’s office. 

“As we approach the solemn two-year anniversary of when our neighbors were senselessly slaughtered solely because of the color of their skin, we rededicate ourselves in supporting the East Buffalo community, remembering those we lost, and supporting those who were injured,” Governor Hochul said in a press release. “Today’s unveiling of the final design chosen by the 5/14 Memorial Commission is the culmination of many meetings and conversations with the families of those impacted as well as the community.”

Source: Kent Nishimura / Getty

On May 14, 2022, Payton Gendron drove hours from his hometown in upstate New York before using an assault rifle to kill 10 Black people and injure several others at the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo. Those killed ranged from 32 to 86 years old.

After his arrest, investigators found a manifesto left by Gendron that espoused a racist conspiracy theory that’s become increasingly popular among those holding far-right, ultra-conservative and mainstream Republican views. The so-called “White Replacement Theory” was referenced in the manifesto.

Gendron pleaded guilty to 15 state charges, including 10 counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder, and domestic terrorism motivated by hate, according to ABC News.

He was later sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

SEE ALSO:

Hate Crimes Targeting Black People Still On The Rise 2 Years After Racist Buffalo Shooting

Emmett Till Bill: Black Leaders React To The Anti-Lynching Law Being Passed


The post ‘It’s Still So Traumatic’: Buffalo Dedicates Memorial To Victims Two Years After Racist Mass Shooting appeared first on NewsOne.

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