A specialized team at Dayton History this week began the difficult work of archiving items from a temporary memorial that sprang up at the site of the Aug. 4 mass shooting.
City officials have transported items from the ever-growing memorial that included handwritten cards, teddybears, flowers and balloons to Dayton History -- Montgomery County’s official history organization.
"The Dayton History organization joins the entire community in mourning those lost in the recent tragedy in the Oregon District," says Brady Kress.
Kress, president and CEO of Dayton History, says the city approached the group, asking it to help safeguard the memorial artifacts, many of which were subjected to the elements for days or weeks after the shooting.
Now, a team of preservation specialists is working to dry, protect and preserve the items until a permanent memorial site is identified.
“Saving the artifacts that go with the photographs, that go with the newspaper articles, and being able to look at the handwritten notes and those things, taking the steps necessary to make sure that they are not going to mold, going to rot, going to mildew.”
A gunman killed nine people and injured more than three dozen others outside Ned Peppers’ bar in the Oregon District before being fatally shot by police.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley previously told reporters the city would eventually create a permanent memorial to honor the victims of the the massacre.
"We want to be very thoughtful as we begin the process of developing a permanent memorial," Whaley said. "Having a place where people can go and reflect is important."
City officials say a carefully chosen committee including people directly affected by the shooting will help oversee the design and location of a permanent memorial.
The group is set to have its first meeting Friday, Aug. 23, and more information about the process is expected soon.