Points of reflection, virtual ceremony planned for 2-year remembrance of Virginia Beach mass shooting

Virginia Beach mass shooting victims (updated May 2020)
Posted at 6:24 AM, May 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-26 08:33:23-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The City of Virginia Beach will memorialize the May 31, 2019 Virginia Beach Municipal Center shooting with several remembrance activities, including points of reflection at Mount Trashmore and the Municipal Center, special programming through the VB Strong Center and remembrance flags across the city.

The mass shooting left 12 people, including 11 city employees and a contractor, dead, five people physically injured and hundreds more impacted.

“The events of May 31, 2019 have impacted everyone differently and because of that, individuals are at different points in their healing journey,” said Virginia Beach City Manager Patrick A. Duhaney. “Our goal is to continue to meet people where they are on that journey and provide options for them to remember those we lost.”

A sand sculpture point of reflection, inspired by the Love for VB forget-me-not flower, will be installed May 26 on 24th Street at the Oceanfront and will remain open for viewing through Memorial Day weekend. The city said the sculpture stems from community requests following the one-year remembrance activities in 2020.

A temporary memorial will be installed behind Building 15 at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, in view of Building 2, where the mass shooting took place. The city will also paint the Love for VB symbol on Mount Trashmore's front facade, and the public is invited to write a message of hope or remembrance on a banner at the base of the hill.

Special programming offered through the VB Strong center will include a StoryWalk for families, featuring pages of "The Rabbit Listened" by Cori Doerrfeld deconstructed into panels and placed along a path or trail. To see a full list of locations and dates to participate in a StoryWalk, click here.

In lieu of a large, in-person gathering, a moment of silence is scheduled for Friday, May 28 at 4:06 p.m., the time that the first 911 call was received. Though the shooting's actual anniversary is days later, city employee feedback has shown that the Friday of that weekend continues to be a poignant reminder.

A memorial ceremony video will be available here the morning of May 31, and remembrance flags featuring a forget-me-not flower will be displayed at half-staff at more than 40 locations in the city May 31.

To learn more about the points of reflection and additional self-guided activities, click here.