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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A moment of silence will be held on Friday to pay respects to the 11 people killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill.

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The “Rally for Peace” will begin at noon at Point State Park.

The stage is set. It’s not clear if the weather is going to cooperate, but the City of Pittsburgh is ready for the massive vigil at The Point, a direct response to the tragic mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Rob Hopson)

City Councilman Corey O’Connor likes the idea of holding a rally Downtown, “I think it’s a couple of weeks after, we’re all sort of gathering more information about the incident, and also what we can do to make changes across the city and across the country. And I think that’s what the conversation is going to be like.”

Rally organizers are being very tight-lipped about the line-up. Of course, an array of elected officials from the area will speak, but mum is the word on any specials guests that might appear. Rumors of actors Tom Hanks or Michael Keaton making a surprise appearance remain unconfirmed.

Meghan Schiller’s Report:

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Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich dodged the question on Thursday.

“Our Special Deployment Division is working with individuals that are requiring special assistance,” he said.

So was Councilman O’Connor, saying, “I am hearing that we may get some special guests, which is good. Anytime we can draw attention to what happened in Squirrel Hill itself is good.”

KDKA’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland Reports:


Because the rally begins at noon, it’s being billed as a lunchtime event, but if your coming be prepared. It’s rain or shine, and while there’s no plan for metal detectors, there will be plenty of security.

Hissrich says there will be plenty of uniformed and plainclothes officers in the park. But there are some things you can do, including arrive early and don’t bring large backs that may be subject to be searched.

“If individuals would not bring a bag that would expedite the line to get in, if, in fact, there are lines. I’m hoping people will arrive early, but, at the same time, we’ll have enough personnel to make sure there aren’t extended lines,” he said.

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Officials won’t say if first responders or victims families are on the actual program, but their sacrifices will indeed be recognized.

Lynne Hayes-Freeland