A location has been chosen for a permanent memorial to the Oregon District mass shooting, though the details about what a memorial might look like will follow a thorough process involving victims and their families.
The location will be on Fifth Street between Lilly’s Bistro and the overhead railroad crossing east of it on a piece of land donated by Dan Lafferty, founder of Wiley’s Comedy Club. Today, to mark the one-year anniversary of the shooting, a temporary Memorial Tree is on the spot where people can place notes honoring victims.
“Folks really felt strongly that the memorial should be somewhere on Fifth Street, but we didn’t want to put it in front of someone’s business,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said .
Whaley leads a committee formed after the shooting to come up with a plan for a permanent memorial. She said planning was slowed by the coronavirus pandemic, but that’s not a problem since they wanted to give victims and survivors plenty of time before asking for their input.
“We wanted to have the victims’ family members involved, and all the other cities that I talked to said you have to give space and give them some time. So if you look at cities like Parkland and others, they still don’t have their permanent memorials because you want to make sure people are ready to come to the table,” Whaley said. “We’re not in a super hurry about it. We want it to be thoughtful and meaningful.”
The Dayton Foundation has established a fund to receive donations for the permanent memorial. It currently has received just under $45,000, according to foundation spokeswoman Christine Smith.
Donations for the establishment of a permanent memorial can be made through the Dayton Foundation website or by check, sent to the Dayton Foundation, 1401 S. Main St., Suite 100, Dayton, Ohio 45409. “Memorial Fund for the Oregon District” or “Fund #8375″ should be designated on the check memo line.