By: KDKA-TV’s Jennifer Borrasso
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh and people around the world remembered and reflected on the tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue two years ago.
Congregations from Dor Hadash, New Light and Tree of Life hosted a virtual commemoration ceremony on Tuesday night. The 45-minute event honored the 11 lives lost and recognized that the healing continues.
- 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
- Two Years Later: Remembering, Commemorating The 11 Lives Lost In The Tree Of Life Synagogue Shooting
All day Tuesday and into the night, people stopped to honor the 11 people who were murdered inside the synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018. People wrote notes and left flowers, stones and other mementos. One message read, in part, “Cecil and David, I miss you all time time. I miss seeing you both together.”
“The theme of today is to remember and to reflect in spirit and action,” said Maggie Feinstein, the director of the 10.27 Healing Partnership.
The families and all three congregations offered remembrances of loved ones and invited the community to join in solidarity. Clergy representatives from the congregations recited traditional prayers that brought reflection and comfort.
“When I feel tainted, God, remind me that I am holy. When I feel weak, teach me that I am strong,” Rabbi Jonathan Perlman of New Light Congregation prayed during the event.
World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma dedicated a special piece to the commemoration ceremony.
“Today, I would like to honor both the people whose lives were lost but also the ones who have been helping all this time,” the cellist said.
The music throughout the piece was arranged and originally performed by Elana Arian, one of the leading voices in contemporary Jewish music.
Some poignant moments came when family members of the victims lit candles and announced the names of their loved ones. And there were messages from survivors.
“These people, unfortunately, did nothing wrong. Some of them I’ve known for many years,” Hugh Casper of New Light Congregation said.
The ceremony also thanked the first responders who went above and beyond.