Approximately 2,500 people attended a memorial service on Sunday following the deadly slaying of 11 Jewish worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue the day before, reports CNBC.
“What happened yesterday will not break us. It will not ruin us. We will continue to thrive and sing and worship and learn together and continue our historic legacy in the city with the friendliest people that I know,” Rabbi Jonathan Perlman told the audience gathered at the University of Pittsburgh’s Soldiers and Sailors Hall.
On Saturday, in what Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said was the city’s “darkest hour,” a man, police identified as Robert Bowers, allegedly went into the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday and killed worshippers during Sabbath prayer while making anti-Semitic comments such as “All Jews must die.”
The massacre was the deadliest attack in American history on the country’s Jewish community, according to the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish Council for Public Affairs, writes CNN.
Bowers, 46, who has a history of posting anti-Semitic comments online, could face the death penalty after being charged with 29 federal charges, including hate crime statutes.
“This is the darkest hour in our city’s history,” said Peduto during Sunday’s service. “But here’s another thing about Pittsburgh. We are resilient. We will work together as one. We will defeat hate with love. We will be a city of compassion and we will be welcoming to all people.”
The names of the victims of the tragedy were released by officials, per CNBC:
David Rosenthal, 54; Cecil Rosenthal, 59 (brothers); Sylvan Simon, 86, Bernice Simon, 84 (husband and wife); Joyce Fienberg, 75; Richard Gottfried, 65; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; Daniel Stein, 71; Melvin Wax, 88; and Irving Younger, 69. The eldest victim was Rose Mallinger, 97.
President Donald Trump condemned the attack on the synagogue but suggested that no one would have died if there was an armed guard present. Four officers were wounded when they exchanged gunfire with the suspect.
U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-California) told CNN’s State of the Union that Trump is trying to divide the nation.
“Honestly, I think this president’s whole modus operandi is to divide us. He gets up in the morning with new and inventive ways to divide us,” the congressman said.