The preliminary designs for a memorial commemorating the lives lost in the Tree of Life mass shooting on Oct. 27, 2018, were unveiled on the morning of Dec. 7 in Pittsburgh and announced by a collaborative group of victims’ families, communal leaders and congregational representatives.
The memorial plans were created by Daniel Libeskind, the lead architect on the project, in partnership with a memorial committee that featured a representative from each of the victims’ families. The group is working to create a memorial that honors each of the 11 victims as individuals while also providing a space for “public and communal reflection” according to a press release.
“The journey to unveiling the preliminary memorial designs has been a long and emotional one, but I am grateful for a process that prioritized our hopes that our loved ones are remembered for how they lived, not solely for how they were murdered,” said Diane Rosenthal, a member of the Memorialization Working Group and a sister of Cecil and David Rosenthal, who were among those killed in the attack.
The independent Memorialization Working Group also contains representation from each of the three congregations attacked that day: Congregation Dor Hadash, New Light Congregation and Tree of Life – and was facilitated by the 10.27 Healing Partnership.
The memorial and new building that holds it will also service the Tree of Life congregation, an education and research center, and the nation’s first museum focused on the historical roots and modern manifestations of antisemitism in the United States, according to the release.
The official groundbreaking for the new building is expected to be sometime in 2024, though a more specific timeline was not listed.
The memorial and new building come as the congregation furthers its initiatives that began in 2022 as they launched the reimagined Tree of Life – a new national organization, with a motto of “Remember. Rebuild. Renew,” as they list on their website.
This building is the next step to helping the families, the community, and larger society process this tragedy while ensuring that it’s never repeated.
“Creating a meaningful memorial is a highly emotional and personal process, while at the same time, it must communicate to a broader audience. For the 10/27 Memorial, we worked closely with the families and the congregations throughout the design process. It was through this collaboration that we created a memorial that celebrates those we lost and brings the families and the community together in healing,” Libeskind said in a statement.