Planning is about to get underway for a memorial to honor the victims of Buffalo’s supermarket shooting — a white supremacist terror attack that claimed 10 lives at a Tops Friendly Market in May.
On Friday, Gov. Kathy Hochul joined Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown to announce the formation of the May 14th Memorial Commission.
“The May 14th Memorial Commission will create a lasting reminder of the losses we experienced that awful day. While we combat racism in all forms and work towards a future where hatred and bigotry are a thing of the past, the Commission, led by Reverend Mark Blue and supported by partners like Mayor Brown, will have a leading role in uplifting the East Buffalo community,” Hochul said.
The commission will oversee and develop the plan to build a physical memorial in East Buffalo.
Buffalo’s former fire commissioner is part of the panel — he lost a family member in the shooting.
“It is my prayer that as we begin this journey, it will provide opportunity for our community to come together and love in a united effort that will honor all of those who have suffered under the weight and hate of white supremacy,” Garnell Whitfield, the former commissioner, said.
Brown said the commission will focus on picking a location, engaging the community, design concepts and securing funds.
The memorial would honor the victims of the May 14 shooting: Pearl Young, Ruth Whitfield, Margus D. Morrison, Andre Mackniel, Aaron Salter Jr., Geraldine Talley, Katherine Massey, Roberta A. Drury, Heyward Patterson, and Celestine Chaney.
The Department of Justice announced Wednesday that they had filed 26 hate crime charges against the gunman suspected of killing 10 people in a racially-motivated mass shooting at a Buffalo grocery store.