By Cornelius Frolik
Healing, celebration of life and a space for reflection are a few of the ideas people have come up with for a permanent memorial for the Oregon District mass shooting.
Some people impacted by the tragedy have filled out surveys to share their thoughts about a memorial, and a small group of people attended a public forum at the Dayton Metro Library on Thursday where a permanent installation was discussed.
This process is just getting started, organizers say, and there will be plenty of other opportunities for input.
Survivors and victims’ family members who spoke on Thursday said they aren’t sure what they would like the memorial to include and where it should be.
Dion Green, whose father died in his arms in the Oregon District on Aug. 4, 2019, said perhaps the memorial should not be located in the district, because it could be an emotional or painful reminder to victims, survivors and other people traumatized by the incident.
Green said he’s taken steps to “reclaim” the district after the tragedy, and a memorial in the area might be a trigger.
Kyle Babirad, a former member of the board of trustees for the Oregon District Business Association, said he worries a memorial in the district might attract unwanted gawkers.
He said he’s already seen people visit the Oregon District to walk the path of the shooter, and “tragedy tourism” has been an issue in other communities that were the sites of mass murder.
Some people said the memorial could be educational, possibly including information about the people who were killed that day. Or it could have different stations, such as for quiet reflection.