They read the names one at a time- the eight people, 6 of them Asian women, killed in the Atlanta spa shooting on March 16, 2021- two years ago.
- Soon Chung Park, 74
- Suncha Kim, 69
- Yong Ae Yue, 63
- Paul Andre Michels, 54
- Hyun Jung Grant, 51
- Xiaojie “Emily” Tan, 49
- Daoyou Feng, 44
- Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33
Community leaders and activists this morning joined family members and friends of the victims as well as concerned citizens to remember and never forget.
Robert Peterson spoke longingly about his mother Yong Ae Yue who he recently saw in a dream.
“We are wrapped today in your comfort in grieving together as a community,” he said. “Rather than being outraged and consumed by rage, sadness, she would want us to find happiness again. She would want us to continue to use her story to empower and uplift our people and our world.”
Michael Webb lost his ex-wife Xiaojie “Emily” Tan in the shooting. He has raised two Asian daughters and now he worries about them.
“I’m just worried more about their safety, because they’re Asian,” Webb said. “My former wife and seven other innocent people, most of them Asian women were killed by a 21-year-old boy, that the state of Georgia allowed to walk into a gun store and walk out with a semi-automatic weapon.”
His daughter-in-law, Jennifer, is a school teacher and must run her students through active shooter drills.
“Our babies should not have to learn to run and hide from an active shooter as part of their education in school. These are things What the hell does matter with us?”
Erika Moritsugu, deputy assistant to the president, delivered a message from President Biden.
“On that fateful day, hopes and dreams are shattered and lives are cut short,” the President said in his statement read by Moritsugu. “We hope you find purpose and will never be alone. I want you to know the entire nation will remain with you. I want you to know I see you. My administration sees you.”
The remembrance in Atlanta is one of at least five events being held across the country today. The events are being livestreamed by Stand with Asian Americans from Atlanta, New York, Detroit, Denver and San Francisco. For more information, you can go to Always with Us, Asian Americans Rise Against Hate.
“Let’s not suffer in silence,”said Brian Pang of Stand with Asians before he introduced the livestream. “Let’s continue to stand up and raise our voices. Don’t minimize yourself. Don’t minimize these microaggressions.
In his speech, Peterson dreamed of a multi-racial coalition fighting for one America.
“Remember today to take an opportunity to recognize that despite our differences, despite our different experiences with racism, we have a shared history of oppression and silence. Like my mother, we just want to work. We want to go to the grocery store, dance halls free of violence and hate.”
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