DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Messages of #DaytonStrong are showing up all around the city after the mass shooting in the Oregon District.
#DaytonStrong originally started following the Memorial Day tornado outbreak when communities were tasked with the daunting challenge of rebuilding. It’s resurfaced again following the deadly shooting on Fifth Street.
Tuesday, two large #DaytonStrong banners went up on the front and side of the iHeartMedia radio station in Dayton.
“Our company is iHeartRadio, and we thought, you know, ‘We heart Dayton’,” says Senior Vice President of Programming Jeff Stevens. “We live here. We work here. We love it. So to see this on the side of our building, I’m very, very proud of it.”
“I just think it’s important for the community to bond together in such a crisis,” says Rick Dobson of Insignia Display Graphics, which printed the banner. “The message is so important.”
As a tribute grows outside of Ned Peppers where nine innocent people were killed, other messages of #DaytonStrong are spread throughout Fifth Street. Some messages are on marquees, others are on the sidewalks in chalk, and some are in businesses’ storefronts.
The phrase has also made it’s way onto T-shirts. Heart Mercantile will be selling shirts with #DaytonStrong on them. iHeartMedia Dayton’s shirts will mimic the banner on the side of the station with proceeds going to the Dayton Foundation Oregon District Tragedy Fund.
For people who live and work in the community, #DaytonStrong is more than just a hashtag; it’s become a way of living and healing.
“Fills my heart. Makes me proud to be part of the city,” says Dayton resident Kevin Litten.
“It’s a sign of a strong community. It matters all the time, but especially right now,” says Dayton resident Chuck Platt.