Virginia Beach releases plans to honor victims of May 31 mass shooting from a distance

Virginia Beach Mass Shooting

EMOC at the Virginia Beach Municipal center was lit up in blue in the days following the mass shooting. (Brett Hall/WAVY-TV)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Nearly a year has passed since a gunman stole the lives of 12 people and injured four others during the mass shooting in Virginia Beach.

The May 31, 2019 mass shooting at Building 2 in the Virginia Beach Municipal Center was the worst act of violence that has ever happened in Virginia Beach, and it permanently altered the fabric of the community.

Although the coronavirus pandemic makes gathering in public an impossibility, Virginia Beach officials have released a plan to remember the lives of those who were killed, honor the ongoing pain of the injured, and support a community still in mourning.

The plan is called “Lighting the Path: Together We Remember.” It includes at-home ceremonies on May 29 and May 31, including a moment of silence, a virtual remembrance event, and an invitation to plant Forget-Me-Not flowers in honor and support of the hundreds of lives impacted by the mass shooting.

The city has also created a symbol based on the Forget-Me-Not flower that represents the victims who died, those who were injured, a police officer who was shot, and the love and support of the Virginia Beach community.

A full list of events is available here.

The city will also honor the shooting victims and their families in other ways, 10 On Your Side reported in April.

These include placing the Forget-Me-Not flowers around Building 2 on May 29, a light display, and giving employees time to mourn.

“This is a very difficult time. In the midst of a pandemic, reflecting on the worst day in the history of Virginia Beach seems even more daunting,” said Acting Virginia Beach City Manager Tom Leahy. “Still, if I’ve learned anything in my four decades with this city, it is this – we persevere. We grow. And we continue to put one foot in front of the other, even when that feels almost impossible. Our goal with these activities has been to honor the memories of those we lost a year ago and the incredible contributions they each made to our lives and our city.”


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