Buffalo Unveils Memorial Honoring Victims Of 2022 Supermarket Shooting

Nearly two years after a white teenager executed a racist mass shooting at a Buffalo Tops supermarket, plans to memorialize the attack were announced by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul. The memorial will feature interconnected stone pillars and arches and a windowed building where exhibitions and events can be held. 

As the Associated Press reports, Gov. Hochul said at a news conference unveiling the design of the permanent memorial that it represents a rededication to supporting the East Buffalo community. “As we approach the solemn two-year anniversary of when our neighbors were senselessly slaughtered solely because of the color of their skin, we rededicate ourselves in supporting the East Buffalo community, remembering those we lost, and supporting those who were injured.”

Hochul continued, “Today’s unveiling of the final design chosen by the 5/14 Memorial Commission is the culmination of many meetings and conversations with the families of those impacted as well as the community. I thank Mayor Brown, Reverend Blue, and the members of the Commission for their efforts in taking on this heavy task of honoring the lives and legacies of those we lost and the community impacted by this tragedy.”

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown also said at the news conference that he takes pride in the work conducted by the 5/14 Memorial Commission.

“The second anniversary of the 5/14 Racially Motivated Mass Shooting is just hours away. It is, and will always be, a somber mark in our city’s history. Our city and region continue to mourn the lives that were taken by an out-of-town white supremacist on that day. I am proud of all the work the 5/14 Memorial Commission has done to create a memorial that reflects the wishes of the families and the community. I also thank the organizations and businesses that have helped us in this process.”

Jin Young Song and Douglass Alligood created the mural’s design, which was selected from 20 submissions to the 5/14 Memorial Commission. New York State has contributed $5 million to the $15 million project, and the city of Buffalo will contribute $1 million. A yearlong campaign is expected to fill in the gaps in funding. 

Buffalo artist Valeria Cray and her son, Hiram Cray, a faculty member at the State University of New York Corning Community College, created a sculpture called “Unity for the Honor Space” for the memorial, officially titled “Seeing Us.”

According to Rev. Mark Blue, the chairman of the 5/14 Memorial Commission, the families of the victims were consulted as the design selection went on. “What happened on 5/14 was an act of senseless violence, and it was an act of hate,” Blue told the AP. “It’s my intent to make sure we have a memorial that the families and the communities can be proud of.”

As BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported, Payton Gendron is currently serving a life sentence with no possibility of parole for his role in the attack after he pleaded guilty to state charges of murder and hate-motivated domestic terrorism. Gendron is also facing separate federal charges and could receive the death penalty if convicted in that case, in which he has entered a plea of not guilty. 

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