News of the Pittsburgh fire and shooting accident at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue has spread like wildfire across the country. With news regarding anti-semitism and growing sentiments against Jews, it was heartwarming to see the local community come out in huge numbers to support all the victims and to stand by their friends and family during their hour of need.
The memorial was attended by a decent crowd, including a number of small children and mothers, who thanked the local firefighters, police, and paramedics who responded almost immediately to the news of the horrific mass shooting case.
“We are obviously so grateful that it wasn’t any more tragic than it already was. And that’s because of our first-responders,” resident Molly Butler told to the media at the event. “We are so lucky and so grateful.”
“The kids heard the sirens at our synagogue down the block and we just told them ‘that’s the sound of people saving your life,” she added.
Six-year-old child Lily Butler also came to the memorial with her small brother and held a sign that read, “Thank you for keeping all the Jews in my neighborhood safe.”
“There are terrible hateful people everywhere but we are lucky we live in a place where police care about us and they come right away,” Butler told the media.
Mayor Bill Peduto was out on the memorial as well, and he called it the darkest day in the history of Pittsburgh. “To the victims’ families, to the victims’ friends, we’re here as a community of one for you,” Peduto said. “We will be here to help you through this horrific episode. We’ll get through this darkest day of Pittsburgh’s history by working together,” he mentioned.
Jocelyne Bennett is a general assignment reporter at Spruce Tribune. She has covered sports, entertainment and many other beats in her journalism career, and has lived in Hamilton for more than 6 years. Jocelyne has appeared periodically on national television shows and has been published in (among others) The National Post, Politico, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Wired.com, Vice and Salon.com.