By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – On the second commemoration of the Tree of Life massacre, presidential nominee Joe Biden issued a statement about the 11 innocent lives tragically lost.
“Eleven innocent lives were taken that Shabbat morning, ripped away from their families by a lone gunman taking longtime forces of bigotry and prejudice to their violent conclusion,” Biden statement reads.
“This act of terror was not only an assault against the Jewish community of Pittsburgh — it was a strike against the soul of our nation and the values for which America stands.”
Oct. 27 is a day Pittsburgh will never forget. Tuesday marks two years since 11 lives were lost in the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in United States history.
Two years ago, a white supremacist entered Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue and perpetrated the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history. May the memories of those we lost be a blessing — and may we never stop fighting the scourges of anti-Semitism and gun violence.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 28, 2020
Biden says “the pain remains” and for the families of the Tree of Life, New Light and Dor Hadash congregations, “the grief will never fully subside.”
As KDKA visited the synagogue Tuesday, people said it feels like no time has passed at all.
“It seems like yesterday. It doesn’t seem like two years,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.
Outside, there were many people dropping off flowers and signs that say “Stronger Than Hate.” Some were even holding each other close in hopes of trying to heal from the tragedy. At 9:54 a.m., Mayor Bill Peduto, Rabbi Jeffrey Myers and a handful of others stopped, went silent and reflected.
— Lindsay Ward (@LindsayWardTV) October 27, 2020
“When anti-Semitism is allowed to fester, it shreds the fabric of our communities and erodes our soul. We must stand up and speak out whenever and wherever it rears its head, because silence can become complicity,” Biden says.
“If we are ever to reach our full potential as a nation, we must banish hatred, bigotry, and conspiratorial fanaticism to the dustbin of history — and choose a path of dignity and respect for all people.
“On behalf of Jill, Kamala, Doug, and our families, we stand with the people of Squirrel Hill, the entire Pittsburgh community, and all Jewish Americans on this solemn anniversary. May the memories of the victims forever be a blessing.”
- Two Years Later: Remembering, Commemorating The 11 Lives Lost In The Tree Of Life Synagogue Shooting
- Survey: Nearly Half Of Americans Aren’t Familiar With The Term ‘Anti-Semitism’
- Mayor Peduto Calls On Pittsburghers To Hold Moment Of Silence As Tree Of Life Remembrance
Following the Tree of Life tragedy, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, along with Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, visited the synagogue.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic this year, the way people are gathering to remember has changed. Dor Hadash, New Light and Tree of Life will host a virtual commemoration ceremony tonight at 7 p.m.