VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Starting Monday, July 8, staff from the Virginia Beach History Museums will be on site at the ever-growing memorial at the municipal center.
"It certainly has been a unifying point for a lot of people - a destination for people to go and gather and share their thoughts and feelings about it," said Julie Hill, spokeswoman for the City of Virginia Beach.
The process will be a painstaking one. Staff will collect, archive and preserve most of the items, but they will first offer them to the victims' families.
However, they will not collect flowers - real or fake - moldy or wet items, food or lawn ornaments - like pinwheels, for example.
Hill said it's incredibly important to preserve most of the items at the memorial for future use at a permanent site that will be erected in the future.
"Having a place where people can go we know is important, and so we want to be very thoughtful of development of a memorial. We have gotten lots of suggestions from people, and we want to gather as much information as we can," Hill stated.
Hill said they will soon send out surveys to the public, city employees and the victims' families to gather input on what the permanent memorial should look like. Hill has also been in contact with cities that have experienced mass tragedies before to get their input and suggestions.
"What we should do should reflect healing and honor," said Hill.