Brookside Gardens holds event
Brookside Gardens dedicated a memorial for the victims of the 2002 sniper shootings yesterday, Oct. 1. The event was held during the daytime and drew in approximately 300 to 350 people.
The dedication's speakers included Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan and sniper-victim family relatives.
Community Relations Manager for the Montgomery County Planning Board Marion Joyce found the sniper victim speakers to be especially moving. "The collective remarks of the families were so poignant…The scars they carry with them will never heal," she said. Joyce added that she found the speech of James Martin's sister, Ola Martin-Border, to be the memorial's highlight. According to Joyce, Martin-Border presented her speech as if she were speaking to her brother and closed with the lines, "I know we'll be meeting again at the gates." Joyce said of the speech, "It was so touching." Another speech Joyce cited was that of Deam Meyers. "[He] spoke so eloquently about his brother and senseless violence and the need for moving on," she said.
Brookside Gardens recently established a permanent memorial consisting of stones engraved with the sniper victims' names. Sunny Scully designed a new pathway as well as the engraving style. The stone memorial was built over the last year and was first announced by Doug Duncan at a candlelight vigil for sniper victims last year. Production for the memorial cost $50,000, and the money mainly consisted of public donations.
Joyce said that the memorial was built at Brookside Gardens for its "peaceful and tranquil setting," for its nearby location to the sniper shootings and for its establishment as a "place of contemplation and reflection." She also noted that Brookside Gardens is a "gorgeous setting" for a monument as important as this one is. "Not only [is it] a fitting memorial to the victims of the 2002 sniper-shooting victims, but it's a memorial to all victims of violence," said Joyce.
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