April 30, 2021

Points of Reflection and Virtual Ceremony Planned for Year Two Municipal Center Tragedy Remembrance Activities

Several remembrance activities will be offered throughout the month of May in remembrance of the May 2019 Virginia Beach Municipal Center shooting that killed 12 individuals, left five physically injured and hundreds more impacted. A new addition for 2021 includes a sand sculpture point of reflection at 24th Street. This stems from community requests following the one-year remembrance activities in 2020. The sand sculpture, inspired by the symbolic Love for VB forget-me-not flower, will be installed May 26 and be open for viewing through Memorial Day weekend.

"The events of May 31, 2019 have impacted everyone differently and because of that, individuals are at different points in their healing journey," said Virginia Beach City Manager Patrick A. Duhaney. "Our goal is to continue to meet people where they are on that journey and provide options for them to remember those we lost."

More special programming offerings are designed to be COVID-safe and meet all current Executive Order public gathering guidelines:

Points of Reflection at Municipal Center and Mount Trashmore

Due to the new City Hall construction boundaries that also encompass Building 2, a temporary memorial will be installed behind Building 15 near the corner of Admiral Degrasse Way and Princess Anne Road in view of Building 2. The installation will be available from May 26 – June 2. The Love for VB symbol will again be painted at Mount Trashmore on the front façade of the hill below the City seal. Individuals will be able to write a message of hope or remembrance on a banner located at the base of the hill. Weather permitting, the Mount Trashmore installation is scheduled to be completed around mid-May.

Special Programming: VB Strong Center Activities

The VB Strong Center was developed in 2019 through a partnership between the City of Virginia Beach and Sentara Healthcare to provide resources, support, education and connection to community partners critically needed in the aftermath of the 2019 trauma. Throughout the month of May, the VB Strong Center will offer StoryWalk® programming in partnership with the Virginia Beach Public Library and Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation. A StoryWalk® features pages of a children's book, deconstructed into panels and placed along a path or trail. As families follow the path to read the story, parents will find tips on how to practice early literacy skills with their children, and children will enjoy suggested activities based on what's happening in the story. The chosen title is "The Rabbit Listened" by Cori Doerrfeld, a moving and universal picture book about empathy and kindness, intended to soothe heartaches big and small. A list of the StoryWalk® locations and dates can be found on the VB Strong Center website.

Ceremonial Programming: Virtual Ceremony and Remembrance Flags

In lieu of a large, in-person gathering, due to COVID restrictions, the City is offering the following additional opportunities to reflect:

  • A Moment of Silence is scheduled for Friday, May 28 at 4:06 p.m., the time that the first 911 call was received. Individuals may pause wherever they are at that time. City employee feedback has shown that the Friday of that weekend continues to be a poignant reminder even if it's not the actual anniversary of the tragedy.
  • A memorial ceremony video will be made available via loveforvb.com the morning of May 31.
  • Remembrance flags, featuring the Love for VB forget-me-not flower, will be displayed at half-staff at more than 40 locations throughout the city on May 31.

For detailed information about the points of reflection and additional self-guided activities, visit loveforvb.com.

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