In light of the recent violent incidents in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas, a memorial is being held this evening, Tuesday, July 12, 2016 from 5:00 PM until 6:00 PM at Niagara Square. Buffalo Common Council President Darius G. Pridgen and Lana Banatovich of the National Federation for Just Communities are helping to organize the memorial, and are asking that the entire community stop to reflect upon the tragedies, and what we can do as a city and a nation to prevent these senseless acts of violence moving forward.
“In order to work together for positive change, we need to heal together,” said Pridgen. “In the face of the catastrophic tragedies, the common denominator for all communities is the loss of life. We are holding this memorial as a way to begin that healing process.”
There will be no public speakers at this gathering. Rather, it is an opportunity to join in solidarity, to talk, to listen, and to heal. This memorial is intended to bring together people of all walks of life. At a time when this country is divided by political views, gender issues, and race, there is no better time to come together and show that the majority of people stand united together.
“We have to get past our emotions, have these dialogues and come out of our comfort zones,” said Elder Cambridge I. Boyd, Sr. of True Bethel Baptist Church. “This will start the conversation and healing process.”
“The Buffalo Police Benevolent Association and its members mourn in fraternal solidarity with the Law Enforcement community in Dallas, Texas,” said Kevin Kennedy, President of the Police Benevolent Association. “It is time for communities throughout this great country to take time to mourn and remember that the loss of life, every life, is a tragedy.”
“The recent tragedies in Baton Rogue, St. Paul, and Dallas are terrible tragedies,” said Richard Lipsitz, President of the Western New York Area Labor Federation AFL-CIO. “We should all reflect on the nature of humanity and strive for understanding and cooperation in solving the problems that are troubling our society.”
“People of color need to feel safe,” said Lana Benatovich of the National Federation for Just Communities. “And the law enforcement community needs to go home safely to their families.”
“We will be showing the face of each individual who lost their life so we can reflect and face a better tomorrow,” said Pridgen. “We invite Western New York to come and heal with us.”
At 6:00 PM bells will ring for each victim as their names are read and images of their faces are shown.