Lewiston plans a memorial for Oct. 25 mass shooting

Mar. 18—LEWISTON — Officials announced a plan Monday to create a memorial "and community unifying events" to help the city move forward in the aftermath of the Oct. 25, 2023, mass shooting that left 18 people dead in Lewiston.

The city and the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce said in a prepared statement they were launching the OneLewiston Resilience Fund to spearhead "a thoughtful and collaborative approach in honoring the victims, supporting the survivors and paying tribute to the resilience of the community."

"It is our hope that this memorial and remembrance events will help unify, heal and renew Lewiston's strength, demonstrating it as the great American city it is," Shanna Cox, president and CEO of the chamber, said.

The move follows a pattern of creating public memorials seen across America in the wake of large-scale massacres in cities from coast to coast. They range from simple markers to elaborate parks.

"It will be hard to define this memorial, and it will not be done in haste," Lewiston City Administrator Heather Hunter said in the news release.

"The people of Lewiston are resilient," Hunter said. "And we will make sure we do this right by those directly impacted by this horrific event by creating a meaningful, purposeful memorial and unifying community events."

The city and the chamber together plan to establish a Memorial Planning Committee that will include members from victims' families, survivors, the Deaf community, nonprofits, local businesses, the chamber and the city.

The goal is for the committee to "help guide the process of designing and implementing a permanent memorial that honors the memories of those lost and the resilience of the Lewiston community."

It would also create events leading up to the memorial installation, the city and chamber said.

Membership of the committee has not been decided.

Cox said officials are committed to "a completely transparent" process in creating the proposed memorial.

She said the foundation's existing nonprofit, the OneLewiston Fund, will be used for people to make contributions to the memorial and accompanying events. Donations and offers to volunteer help can be made at OneLewiston.org.

The new OneLewiston Resilience Fund will kick off using proceeds from the Healing Hearts Gala to be held at 6 p.m. Friday, March 29, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Auburn.

The Healing Hearts Gala will showcase Every Other Sunday, a Maine-based nine-piece dance band, along with the Portland Symphony, delicious foods, and a great auction.

For tickets, which cost $50 each, or further information, please contact lahealinghearts@gmail.com or find the event on Facebook.

Photo: St. Patrick's Day pals in Auburn

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