I visited Building 2 this morning to pay my respects to those who lost their lives one year ago. My heart aches for everyone who mourns this loss. Know that our community is with you, we stand with you, and we support you. Together we remember and together we are #VBStrong
May 31 will be remembered by our Virginia Beach community as a day overcast by a tragedy perpetrated by senseless violence. While this has forever changed our community, I also hope that it will be remembered as a day that we unified together for an outpouring of love – not only for the lives taken from us and their families but for our whole community.
Unfortunately, the impacts of COVID-19 prevent us from gathering together to grieve – but there are other ways that we can honor the victims. There will be a moment of silence at 4:06 pm this Friday, May 29, which was the time a dispatcher received the first call a year ago. Please also join me in wearing the color blue, the color of remembrance, for that day.
The symbol that has been adopted this year is the forget-me-not flower, which can be seen painted on the hill of Mt. Trashmore. The symbol shows twelve petals to represent the lives lost, four inner petals to represent those who were seriously injured, a blue dot in the middle for the police officer who put themselves in harm’s way for the safety of others and who was shot, and a gold outlining border that represents our community that has pulled together to support one another. You can plant forget-me-not flowers (a perennial flower that will bloom each year), download and display a printable forget-me-not design, and add a social media Love for VB frame for your profile picture. There will be an online remembrance ceremony on www.loveforvb.com on Sunday, May 31 at 4:06 pm.
The VB Strong Center is also providing no-cost programs and services to anyone in the community directly or indirectly impacted by the May 31 tragedy. They are located at 3388 Princess Anne Rd #2001, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, and you can reach them at 757-507-7200 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To say that our community has endured challenges over the past year would be an understatement. In response to the sorrow that has struck our community, I know that we have stood together and supported one another. One year later, we are one and we are #VBstrong.