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On 5th anniversary, memorial plans unveiled for San Bernardino terrorist attack victims

On the fifth anniversary of the Dec. 2, 2015, terrorist attack in San Bernardino, county leaders unveiled plans for a memorial to commemorate the tragedy but also celebrate how first responders risked their lives to stop the terrorists and how the community came together afterward.



Families of the victims and first responders gathered privately Wednesday morning, Dec. 2, for a moving and somber remembrance outside the employee entrance to the County Government Center, where the Curtain of Courage memorial will be built, said Supervisor Josie Gonzales.

An artist’s rendering shows the Dec. 2, 2015, terrorist attack memorial planned for the San Bernardino County Government Center campus. It includes a bronze steel curtain with cast glass jewels to honor the victims. (Photo courtesy of San Bernardino County)

Gonzales, the chairwoman of the county committee that selected the plans, said decisions about the memorial were driven by the survivors of the attack and the families of the 14 people who lost their lives that day.

“It forever changed our lives,” Gonzales said at a news conference following the private gathering. “… Today, we start rebuilding what has been torn apart, in the form of a memorial.”

The concept had been released earlier, but Tuesday marked the symbolic start of the project.

A timeline for completing the monument will be ready in the first quarter of 2021, after consulting with each victim’s family about “minute and intimate personal details” that could be incorporated into the memorial.

Fourteen alcoves are included in the design, each dedicated to one of the 14 people who died in the attack, said Walter Hood, whose design was chosen.

Because public workers walk by the space every day, the design was meant to be uplifting, Hood said.

“We were inspired by the amazing outpouring but (also) the compassion of the people of San Bernardino, and more importantly, how the community came together on one day,” Hood, who didn’t attend the news conference because of coronavirus concerns, said in a video. “We didn’t want the space to be of sorrow, we want it to be of light, we want it to be of remembrance.”

The alcoves also offer a place of solace, Hood said, while the 14 individual spaces together form one curtain, just as the individuals affected by the attack form a community.

Families of the victims chose the government center for the memorial because it’s where the victims worked and it can easily be accessed, Gonzales said.

County supervisors unanimously approved a $187,500 contract with Hood’s Oakland-based Hood Design Studio in September to design the site and the artwork. The total cost, including construction, will be determined later, but supervisors have set aside $1 million for the project, said county spokesman David Wert.

Also Wednesday afternoon, Cal State San Bernardino held a virtual remembrance for the victims, including five who were campus alumni.

Source: Orange County Register

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