Gov. Wolf Announces Statewide Remembrance Day, Flag Lowering to Honor Tree of Life Victims
October 18, 2019
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf signed a proclamation declaring Sunday, October 27, 2019, a day of remembrance and ordered state flags to half-staff on the one-year mark of an anti-Semitic attack on the Dor Hadash, New Light, and Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha congregations in their synagogue in Pittsburgh. The proclamation extends the City of Pittsburgh’s resolution declaring the day “Remember Repair Together Day” statewide to include all Pennsylvanians.
“A year has passed, but I continue to carry sorrow for the victims and their families of this heinous attack,” said Gov. Wolf. “We must honor them by remembering, and through our thoughts, prayers and actions. I ask all Pennsylvanians to spend Oct. 27 doing the same in their honor.
“Pittsburgh is a city of bridges, and so it is a fitting tribute to commemorate this occasion with a day of building bridges of understanding, welcome and friendship.”
In addition to signing the proclamation, Gov. Wolf ordered the commonwealth flag at all commonwealth facilities, public buildings and grounds to half-staff from sunrise until sunset on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. The United States flag is to remain at full-staff. All Pennsylvanians are invited to participate in this tribute.
Gov. Wolf reflected on the shooting throughout the year, most notably during his trip to Lithuania and Poland. The governor carried a mezuzah from inside the synagogue with him as he visited Paneriai and Auschwitz-Birkenau, two prominent locations of atrocities against the Jewish people during the Holocaust. He wrote the names of the eleven victims in the guestbooks at both locations with the intent of memorializing them in perpetuity. He recently returned the mezuzah to Rabbi Jeffery Myers, who had lent it to the governor to bring on his trip.
“My visits to Holocaust sites reaffirmed my belief that we need to work every day to stop anti-Semitism and hate from growing in Pennsylvania,” said Gov. Wolf. “By reaching out to cultivate bonds of friendship and understanding, we observe the one-year mark of the attack at Tree of Life with action that helps strengthen our commonwealth and prevent hate from growing.”
Read the full proclamation below.
REMEMBER REPAIR TOGETHER DAY
October 27, 2019
WHEREAS, on October 27, 2018, violence struck the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. In an act of bigotry and hatred, a gunman attacked the Dor Hadash, New Light, and Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha congregations worshipping at the Tree of Life synagogue; and
WHEREAS, all of Pennsylvania stands in solidarity with the Tree of Life community, their families, the Jewish community, and all those who continue to mourn in Pittsburgh and across the commonwealth. Horrific acts of violence like this remind us of the fragile nature of human life, and of just how much we depend upon one another; and
WHEREAS, though events such as these leave sorrow, heartache, and fear in their wake, we can also find hope in the outpouring of love and compassion evident in the Pittsburgh community and across the commonwealth. In the aftermath of this act of violent extremism, Pennsylvanians reached out to comfort and support one another, to reject bigotry and anti-Semitism, and to affirm the bonds of kindness, acceptance, and love that define our commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, William Penn founded our commonwealth on the principles of inclusion and tolerance, and today Pennsylvanians continue to demonstrate that true strength comes not from uniformity, but from diversity. The bonds we build between individuals and communities strengthen our commonwealth and our world; and
WHEREAS, as we commemorate the events of October 27, 2018, we remember those killed and honor the wounded by building bridges between individuals and between communities. To combat hatred, we must cultivate bonds of friendship and understanding and celebrate the diversity of our commonwealth.
THEREFORE, in memory of the victims of the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue, and in honor of the wounded congregants, wounded law enforcement officials, and the entire Jewish community, as well as those in the Pittsburgh community and across our commonwealth who fight hatred and bigotry with love, inclusion, and kindness, I, Tom Wolf, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim October 27, 2019, as REMEMBER REPAIR TOGETHER DAY. I encourage all Pennsylvanians to build bridges of understanding, welcome, and friendship. This is a day for action in the name of love and inclusion.
GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of Harrisburg, this eighteenth day of October two thousand nineteen, the year of the commonwealth the two hundred forty-fourth.