Regarding your article on the memorial for the victims of the shooting at the Garlic Festival, I’d like to point out for the community that this memorial was designed and constructed with volunteer hours and monetary donations. The city asked, but did not pay, Karen Aitken of Aiken & Associates Landscape Architects and Greg Bozzo of GB Landscapes to design and construct the memorial that we have today. The site was authorized by the city council as a temporary memorial in order to expedite the existence of a place where people could go to mourn, reflect, pray, or to simply be in remembrance of such horrific tragedy and sorrow.
What came is what we see today, a beautiful garden of flowers attracting hummingbirds and butterflies daily, perennials and painted rocks, remembrances made by the hands of those wanting to pay respect and acknowledge such profound loss, flags that signify prayers rising to the heavens and a tombstone naming the deceased, designed by Karen Aitken and donated by Habing Family Funeral Home.
Whether or not this site is regarded as sufficiently representative of a permanent memorial site has yet to be discussed among the city council (maybe we remove the prayer flags and add lights, for example), but I, as one councilmember, am full of pride in this community for the existing memorial that came from the generosity, talent, and compassion of our own Gilroy businesses and residents. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Gilroy.
Marie Blankley, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Gilroy
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