City of Buffalo announces 5/14 Remembrance Weekend Events, Public Engagement Campaign for Memorial
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown held a press conference to announce the city-organized events being held to observe the one-year anniversary of the May 14 Tops shooting.
“5/14 Remembrance Weekend: Reflection, Healing and Hope” begins on Friday morning at 9 a.m. with a panel discussion at Roswell Park Comprehensive Center. At the same time, along with the Buffalo Public School District and BOCES, Buffalo Toronto Public Media will be hosting an “Educational Day of Healing & Restoration” event for K-12 students at our BTPM studio. There will also be a Community Gathering on Saturday at the Johnnie B. Wiley Amateur Athletic Sports Pavilion and the weekend events will culminate with a Moment of Remembrance at the Jefferson Avenue Tops market at 2 p.m. and a Memorial Service for Healing at Elim Christian Fellowship at 6 p.m.
“We know that people are in various different stages of healing from 5/14,” Brown said. “And these events have been done in a way that is mindful of that.”
Besides making sure that the victims are properly remembered, Brown mentioned the other important themes that they hope to highlight this weekend.
“There are larger messages that are important to the families of those whose lives were taken. Ending white supremacy. Ending different forms of hate, which was central to what happened here in Buffalo. Racial hatred. Social media being reined in, so people can't be radicalized or messages of hate can't be spread on social media. Also, sensible gun reform,” Brown said. “Already, sadly, in our country, there have been more than 200 mass shootings. It seems like they're occurring almost every day. There have been more mass shootings this year than there are days in the year. So, this problem isn't getting better, it's getting worse. These are some of the things that we want to come out of this weekend.”
Brown also provided time to Reverend Mark E. Blue, the chair of the 5/14 Memorial Commission, to give an update on the plans for a physical memorial in remembrance of the lives lost that day. While a site and time frame still remain unclear, Blue announced a public engagement campaign that included a survey, community meetings, and a website for the memorial.
“One of the things that I mentioned in our meetings is that we only have one time to get this right. And we cannot do a do-over,” Blue said. “So, we need the input of the community, because this is something that happened to our city and all of us are affected by this in one way or another. We do need your input. We need your support on this.”
The first of the 5/14 Memorial Commission community meetings will be held on Tuesday, June 13th at Stanley Makowski Early Childhood Center P.S. 99.
All of this weekend’s events are free and open to the public. NFTA will provide free ride passes at local community centers for those in need of transportation to the Roswell Park panel discussion.