PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Sunday was emotionally filled as it commemorates the loss of 11 lives at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill where three congregations, Dor Hadah, Tree of Life, and New Light reside.
Hundreds of people volunteered their time to honor and remember those victims.
“Some people turn to hate, they get angry and don’t know which way to channel their energy,” said volunteer Barbara Grossman.
To fight the hatred of last year’s violence, she started getting groups together to create hearts and put them all over the city on anything you could walk past.
“It says, ‘If you find this, it’s yours to keep or you pass it on,'” volunteer Amy Cornelius Dembosky said.
Grossman says this is a way to prove we are all one family.
“The way Fred Rodgers would have liked, we’re all neighbors,” she said. “We’re all brothers. We’re all sisters. We’re all connected.”
It’s got on so well she started to spread the idea to nearby areas like Morgantown.
“It’s had the effect that I hoped for in my heart,” Grossman said.
The Pittsburgh native was overwhelmed when she saw the number of volunteers making the hearts.
“It’s bittersweet,” she said holding back tears.
“It makes it not just a place where there was a deep tragedy but a place that people are using to galvanize themselves to doing good,” Rebecca Eisenberg said.
Eisenberg is originally from Pittsburgh and now lives in Los Angeles. She came home to be a part of this healing process.
Grossman wants these hearts to be a movement that can live out the rallying cry from the past year.
“Stronger than hate.”
“That’s what you hope for, that’s what we all hope for, I think,” she said.