VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A new flag pole at Rudee Inlet will welcome boaters as well as pay tribute to the victims of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center shooting and a former businessman.
Around 100 people came out to a dedication ceremony Thursday morning in honor of the late Wayne McLeskey and the mass shooting victims.
The pole consists of a United States flag, Virginia flag and Virginia Beach flag. A larger VB Strong flag will be added later.
His wife, Cheryl, says McLeskey wanted to install at flag pole at the spot years ago, and she remembered the plans earlier this year and decided in May to put one up.
She hopes it will welcome all boaters into Virginia Beach.
“This is an iconic symbol of Rudee Inlet and you will be able to see this for miles coming into the inlet,” she said.
McLeskey was glad to see so many show up in support of her husband and those victims.
“I give this to the lord. I thank the lord for this beautiful day we have in Coastal Virginia.”
Elected officials also joined the crowd and gave remarks about Wayne McLeskey, who died in 2012, and those killed back in May.
Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer says dedications like these show the strength of Virginia Beach residents, and he’s proud to be their mayor.
“We have to remember the victims, their families, and the people in the building at the time who had to see the carnage. We got to remember them in perpetuity. This is a longterm process, not short term. This just goes a long way to let it know we are still going to be there. We are still going to embrace the people who were adversely affected,” Dyer said.