YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Friday marks five years since the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and members of the Youngstown community gathered Thursday evening to remember the lives lost.
On Oct. 27, 2018, 11 people were killed while they were in their place of worship. It was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in American history.
Years later, Jewish communities mourn the innocent lives lost that day.
It was earlier this year that the gunman faced a jury at trial. In June, that jury deliberated for less than a day, finding 50-year-old Robert Bowers guilty on all 63 federal charges. Most of the victims in the attack were older or disabled.
Though the hope was that there would be some closure for families and the Jewish community, the tragedy still sits heavy with many.
About 75 people gathered inside Temple Ohev Beth Sholom in Youngstown to honor the Tree of Life shooting victims. They had a candle light ceremony and read the names of the victims.
Bonnie Burdman, with the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, said this was to stand up against all types of hate.
“We saw that being perpetrated on Oct. 7. We saw that being perpetrated 5 years ago, on Oct. 27. We’ve seen it perpetrated in African American churches, at mosques, at stores, and so many different places,” Burdman said. “At some point, we all have to come together and say, ‘No more.'”
The memorial comes at a time of mourning and prayer for many in the Jewish community. This is between the thousands of lives lost in Israel in the ongoing war and just a day following a mass shooting in Maine.