DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Dayton leaders wanted to send a message to their community — “We will remember the nine victims and never forget their names.”
A survivor of the Oregon District mass shooting said coming down to the area is still difficult for her.
“I remember everything but we were outside and standing 10 feet from where he started shooting,” said Rachel Highfield.
Highfield survived the Oregon District mass shooting and says she owes her life to her best friend Alaina Young. Young blocked Highfield, was shot in the leg and survived.
“I’d like to say she saved me because I didn’t really know what was going on at first and was just sitting there and it wasn’t registering to me,” said Highfield. “She yelled my name and as soon as she yelled my name and told me to run I realized what was happening.”
Hundreds of Daytonians gathered in the Oregon District to remember the lives lost on August 4, 2019. Family and friends cried, laughed and held each other in memory.
Other families affected by gun violence say those nine people, nine names and nine lives will never be forgotten.
“It took 32 seconds for that perpetrator to take nine lives, it took 32 seconds for that perpetrator to hurt 27 other people,” said Malissa Thomas-St. Clair, founder of Mothers of Murdered Columbus Children. “I’m telling you right now, I’m going to leave this pavement where that blood was shed and leave healing, restoration, determination, joy and happiness because today we reclaim these streets.”
Also in attendance was Moms Demand Action who is currently seeking legislation towards gun control, so other cities never have to suffer like Dayton.