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Dayton shooting: Community member’s call for help answered

Published: Thursday, August 08, 2019 @ 1:01 PM
Updated: Thursday, August 08, 2019 @ 4:08 PM


            Annette Gibson-Strong cries in front of the memorial to the victims of the Oregon District mass shooting on Monday. She painstakingly moved the memorial so that Ned Peppers Bar could open that day. BONNIE MEIBERS/STAFF
Annette Gibson-Strong cries in front of the memorial to the victims of the Oregon District mass shooting on Monday. She painstakingly moved the memorial so that Ned Peppers Bar could open that day. BONNIE MEIBERS/STAFF

After the blood had been washed from East Fifth Street, memorials to the victims of the Oregon District mass shooting popped up.

The two biggest memorials formed at the front door of Ned Peppers Bar and Hole in the Wall next door, and Dayton residents continue to add to them. Since Monday, every morning Annette Gibson-Strong goes to the memorial and cleans it. Every evening she makes sure each candle is lit.

MORE: Ned Peppers opens, aims to give customers ‘normalcy’

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Earlier today, Gibson-Strong put out a call for help getting rolls of plastic to cover the memorial. It is expected to rain this evening and she wanted to make sure the memorial wasn’t ruined, and thanks to other members of the community it won’t.

“I don’t have the money to buy all the plastic,” Gibson-Strong said. “I need to preserve it.”

Amanda Duritsch heard the call.

Duritsch had left over window plastic sitting on her dining room table. She said she was scrolling through Twitter when she saw that someone needed help covering the memorials.

“I just wanted to help,” Duritsch said.

Later, the staff at Ned Peppers bought tarps to cover the memorials. The Red Cross also brought tarps to East Fifth Street.

On Monday, Gibson-Strong heard Ned Peppers and Hole in the Wall were planning to open. She wanted to move the memorials out of the way.

MORE: Ned Peppers bouncer: ‘I would’ve died before that guy came in’

She wanted to make sure nothing was thrown in the trash or damaged.

After painstakingly moving each item from the door of Ned Peppers, Gibson-Strong sat in front of the memorial and cried.

“These babies ain’t even in the ground yet,” she said.