DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The City of Dayton has revealed plans for a series of events to honor the victims of the Oregon District mass shooting one year after the tragedy.
Most of the events will be virtual or can be participated in while following CDC health and safety guidelines for the coronavirus pandemic.
Activities include a virtual vigil and moment of silence, the release of a documentary, a photo mosaic and a prayer walk.
Mental health experts with Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) say that in times of tragedy it is common for people to want to gather together. However, with the recent rise in COVID cases, large gatherings are not the safest idea.
Helen Jones-Kelley, executive director of ADAMHS says that a large gathering could cause issues for residents and employees of the Oregon District.
“We have to be very considerate of the fact that there are still people who work there and live there who are still healing from the tragedy. Doing a huge event in the community would just rip off a band-aid and create more stress,” she said.
The city called on a local business to provide thousands of candles for the virtual vigil: Nine Minutes of Silence.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to be a source of light in the Dayton community,” said Shana Lloyd, owner and creator of 1880 Candle Co. “As much as our hearts are breaking, I feel like there is so much hope and light and great energy in the community and we’re so excited to be a part of it.”
Each candle will have a poem written by Dion Green, a man who lost his home in the tornadoes and his father in the shooting, included with it.
“He has just written these incredible words of healing and we just came up with an idea to put them on a card and include them with the candle,”
Many other local groups are coming together for the August 4 events, including ADAMHS.
“Giving back to others is probably the biggest and most important and most effective way to get past feelings of depression,” said Jones-Kelley. “It really is all about the rise and the resiliency of the Gem City.”
For more information on the Dayton Shines event click here.
For more information on the virtual vigil candles, click here.