PITTSBURGH (KDKA)-As we approach one year since the tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburghers are still mourning. That includes the city’s leader, Mayor Bill Peduto.
The images of October 27, 2018, are still fresh in his mind.
“Like most Pittsburghers, you think back to what was happening that day. This morning get up and thinking about that Saturday,” Peduto said.
In the past year we’ve seen the signs all around town, “stronger than hate” or “hate has no place here.” Peduto says simple actions can go a long way.
A memory that came to him was when a child gave him a vase of flowers in the days following the violence, and he found the child and his mother had a carload of them to give away.
“Now that’s an extraordinary event, but that one little act they were doing helped people who were facing trauma to be able to take a breath,” he told KDKA.
To rid the city of hate, the mayor says we need to come together, understand each other, and put aside differences.
“Hate is basically a lack of understanding or knowledge. You don’t hate things that you know. You hate things that you don’t know,” Peduto said.
Since last October, City Council and the mayor were able to pass gun legislation that restricts military-style assault weapons, ban most high-capacity magazines, and allow temporary seizure of guns from people determined to be a danger.
This is going through the courts now.
The mayor’s next step is to see what he calls common-sense reform at the federal level.
“We have 242 cities now that are supporting red flag laws and background checks at the federal level. Those are democrat and republican mayors,” the major said.
He did a walk with Bishop David Zubik to honor the victims of the tragedy on Saturday afternoon.
Sunday evening around 5:00 p.m., people will gather from around the world to join Pittsburgh in a memorial service for the lives of those victims.
They will pause and pledge to maintain our abiding sense of unity and responsibility for one another.