Pitts­burgh turns out to re­mem­ber vic­tims of syn­a­gogue shoot­ing

Boston Herald - - OBITUARIES -

PITTS­BURGH — Nearly two weeks af­ter a gun­man shot to death 11 peo­ple in­side a Pitts­burgh syn­a­gogue, their lives were re­mem­bered yes­ter­day with a mo­ment of si­lence and rally for peace in a down­town park.

Rab­bis from all three con­gre­ga­tions whose mem­bers were meet­ing in the Tree of Life syn­a­gogue build­ing at the time of the Oct. 27 shoot­ing were among a few hun­dred peo­ple who at­tended the event at Point State Park.

“I want to thank Pitts­burgh’s finest,” said Tree of Life Rabbi Jef­frey My­ers, flanked by first re­spon­ders. “If it wasn’t for Pitts­burgh’s finest, I wouldn’t be stand­ing here, ad­dress­ing you to­day.”

My­ers, who pledged yes­ter­day never again to ut­ter the word “hate,” sur­vived what was the dead­li­est at­tack on Jews in U.S. his­tory, then han­dled fu­ner­als for his con­gre­gants.

Ac­tor Michael Keaton, wear­ing a Pitts­burgh Pi­rates ball cap, em­ceed the event that was de­scribed as “a gath­er­ing of com­pas­sion, unity and love.” Keaton grew up in the area.

“This one re­ally hurts. When it hap­pens at a place of wor­ship, that pain runs re­ally, re­ally deep,” Keaton said, call­ing Pitts­burgh “a tough, tough city.”

Robert Bow­ers, a 46-yearold truck driver, is ac­cused of the shoot­ing ram­page that also in­jured six. He has pleaded not guilty to fed­eral charges. Au­thor­i­ties said he raged about Jews dur­ing and af­ter the at­tack.

Pitts­burgh Mayor Bill Pe­duto re­minded the crowd that the rally was tak­ing place on the 80th an­niver­sary of Kristall­nacht, Nazi Ger­many’s sys­tem­atic as­sault on Jews and their in­sti­tu­tions.

The shoot­ing was “our mo­ment of bro­ken glass,” said the Rev. Liddy Bar­low, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Chris­tian As­so­ci­ates of South­west Penn­syl­va­nia. “But this time, neigh­bors did not stand aside. First re­spon­ders did not stand aside. Chris­tians did not and will not stand aside.”

Ac­tor Tom Hanks took the stage with Joanne Rogers, widow of Fred Rogers, host of the PBS chil­dren’s tele­vi­sion se­ries, “Mis­ter Rogers’ Neigh­bor­hood.”

“A vis­i­tor will know how great a city this is be­cause Pitts­burgh has been tested,” said Hanks, who plays Fred Rogers in an up­com­ing film.

He said the city has shown the rest of the na­tion and the world “what good comes when the peo­ple of the Al­legheny and the Monon­ga­hela love their neigh­bors with no ex­cep­tion.”


‘TOUGH CITY’: At­ten­dees stand dur­ing a mo­ment of si­lence yes­ter­day dur­ing the Rally for Peace and Tree of Life Vic­tims, which re­mem­bered the 11 peo­ple shot to death two weeks ago in a Pitts­burgh syn­a­gogue.

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