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Memorial Park Dedicated to the Victims of the Great White Concert Fire to Open

Station Hearth Memorial Basis
Station Hearth Memorial Basis

A park created in memory of the 100 people who were killed during a Great White concert in 2003 will soon be open. The foundation created by friends and family members of the victims announced that the Station Fire Memorial Park in West Warwick, R.I., will have its official dedication on May 21, 2017.

The foundation announced the news on its website, promising more details in the coming weeks. However, the park is not fully complete. As Gina Russo, a survivor of the fire and the president of the foundation, told Rhode Island Public Radio, “There’s still fundraising that we need to do. I met, very briefly with our construction crew. And they’re very confident. They’re still working out there, even when we had all that snow dumped on us. And they just told me to pick a date, and I did.”

The Station Fire Memorial Foundation was created four months after the tragedy. Nine years later, the former site of the Station nightclub was donated to the group, allowing their mission of ensuring that “our loved ones would receive a proper memorial upon the sacred ground where their lives were so tragically cut short” could go forward.

Included in the memorial are a walkway paved with engraved bricks purchased by supporters, a circular courtyard and a shelter with eight steps leading up to it, symbolizing the survivors, first responders, caregivers, volunteers, clergy, family members, friends and the state of Rhode Island. Its memorial gardens contain 100 individual monuments to the deceased that are shaped like wedge monitors to reflect their love of music. You can learn more about the park and support their efforts at the foundation’s website.

Russo added that seeing the park come to fruition after all these years is “wonderful, for many reasons: To be able to give it to the families, to finally give them a place to go to, a beautiful place. And for myself personally, to sort of have my life back.”

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