VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Nearly a year after a gunman killed 12 people and seriously injured four others during the mass shooting in Building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, the city announced Friday its plans for remembering the victims.
These plans had to be adapted due to social distancing guidelines put in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The event, called “Lighting the Path: Together We Remember,” reflects input the city received from employees, family members and others to create meaningful tributes to the victims and their families, as well as every Hampton Roads resident who was affected by that day. The plans include a variety of activities that allow people to remember and reflect in their own ways and on their own time.
“This is a very difficult time. In the midst of a pandemic, reflecting on the worst day in the history of Virginia Beach seems even more daunting,” said Acting City Manager Tom Leahy. “Still, if I’ve learned anything in my four decades with this city, it is this – we persevere. We grow. And we continue to put one foot in front of the other, even when that feels almost impossible. Our goal with these activities has been to honor the memories of those we lost a year ago and the incredible contributions they each made to our lives and our city.”
The city has created a specially designed symbol based on the Forget-Me-Not flower that includes elements representing the 17 victims and the community that surrounds them. The explanation of that design as well as details for the at-home and ceremonial activities planned beginning May 29 are included on the newly redesigned LoveForVB.com memorial website.