VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The memorial outside the Virginia Beach Municipal Center continues to grow each day as visitors pay their respects to the 12 lives lost there.
Mounds of flowers, stuffed animals,and notes line the area next to crosses with the names of Friday’s mass shooting victims.
“It’s a very sad day. It breaks my heart. This is so close to home. This is home,” said Jennifer Scrader, who came from Chesapeake to see the scene.
Scrader joined many others who wanted to reflect and remember.
“There’s nothing I can say that is going to take it away,” she said about the pain the community is feeling.
But, there were some at the memorial hoping to help ease that pain. Many therapy dogs and their owners came out to provide love and support.
“They’re kind of like God’s light in the world,” said Nancy Wolfe, who brought her dog Lulu. Lulu is six years old and has been certified for five years.
Wolfe says her dog usually goes to schools to help with children’s reading programs. This is the first major disaster they’ve responded to.
“You can’t pet a dog and not feel better. That’s all we want to do,” she said.
While Wolfe and Lulu helped in that way, others dropped off cards and signed crosses.
Three Optima Health nurses did what they could by placing butterfly stickers on the crosses. Lisa Miller, Raquel Blunk, and Bridgett Delang say they chose butterflies because many hospitals have butterfly remembrance gardens for those who have died.
They were proud to see a lot of the community out also supporting like they are.
“It’s awesome. It’s powerful. It’s very powerful. It shows we’re all human, we’re all united, we’re all one,” they said.