March 22 named Boulder Day of Remembrance

March 22 will forever be seared into Boulder’s collective memory as the day 10 community members were killed by a gunman at the King Soopers in south Boulder.

Now, with approval from Boulder City Council, the day will be known as the Boulder Day of Remembrance. Mayor Sam Weaver in the Council’s regular meeting on Tuesday read a declaration naming it such.

“It has been said that there are three deaths: The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is returned to the earth. And the third is that moment, sometime in the future, when the person’s name is spoken for the very last time,” the declaration reads.

By naming March 22 the Boulder Day of Remembrance, the city hopes that the third death will never happen, that every year the community will pause and remember the 10 people who died: Denny Stong, Neven Stanisic, Rikki Olds, Tralona Bartkowiak, Teri Leiker, Officer Eric Talley, Suzanne Fountain, Kevin Mahoney, Lynn Murray and Jody Waters.

“As long as we remember them, they will never truly die,” Weaver said.

The update shared by Interim City Manager Chris Meschuk was brief. He did not say what might happen with the physical location of the grocery store, though the Boulder Police Department on Monday announced that the building had been turned over to King Soopers. Grocery store spokesperson Kelli McGannon did not return a request for comment Tuesday, but last week said the grocery store has not yet started to have those conversations.

Meschuk reminded people that the Boulder Strong Resource Center, which offers mental health support and more, is open to all.

He also said city staff is working in partnership with The Kroger Company and the Museum of Boulder to develop both a short-term and long-term plan for a permanent memorial.

“All of that is going to continue to respect the wishes and input of the victims’ families,” Meschuk said.

The fence outside the grocery store continues to serve as a makeshift memorial with flowers, artwork, cards, stuffed animals and more honoring the 10 lives lost. The fence has been transferred to The Kroger Company, Meschuk said.

The city is working to restore access to the eastern driveway of the shopping center and the fence’s location will change to reopen the traffic lane on Table Mesa Drive. It’s also working in partnership with the Boulder Chamber to ensure people can access the other businesses in the Table Mesa shopping center.

Patrick Murphy, who said he has spoken at 100 open comments since 2014, typically speaks against the city’s decade-long effort to form its own electric utility. In open comment on Tuesday, however, he took a break from that and instead offered his thanks to the Council given the challenges council members have faced with the coronavirus pandemic, the King Soopers shooting and more.

“I cry easily regardless of whether it’s a sad or happy moment. I always have to take tissues with me to the movies,” Murphy said. “Every story of those lost in Boulder brings me to tears. Amongst all of this, there are still moments of inspiration that also bring me to tears.”

Source: Read Full Article