SALT LAKE CITY, UT (ABC4 News) – A national movement that started in Portland, Oregon on Juneteenth 2020 is now in Salt Lake City.
“My heart races every time I look at the pictures,” said Thelma Boulos.
Boulos attended the block party kickoff for the “Say Their Names Memorial”. The memorial pays tribute to those who lost their lives as a result of systematic racism.
It’s located along 500 West and 400 North in Rose Park.
“It’s so beautiful, and painful,” said Carrie Reilly, who attended the event. “I think it’s a great representation of the joy that was in these people’s lives, and the beauty that they brought to the world, and how it was just snuffed out for no more reason than the color of their skin.”
The memorial is set to be on display until October 26th. Memorials just like it are on display in at least 25 other cities across the United States.
Those who came out to Saturday’s event stuck fresh flowers in the links of a fence near the pictures to honor those who lost their lives.
Pictures posted include Addie Mae Collins. She was 14-years-old when she died in a church bombing by the Ku Klux Klan in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. Collins’ picture is posted next to George Floyd. Floyd, 46, died in police custody in May of this year. It was after Minneapolis, Minnesota ex-police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
“That’s the point of this art installation is to inspire people to educate themselves,” said Michelda George. George’s organization, Versatile Image in Salt Lake City, put on the 4-hour event. “It’s disheartening when you see those pictures side by side.”
Local black-owned businesses were also featured, along with a DJ and food trucks.
Fatima Dirie, who is running for Utah House District 33, also addressed those that gathered.
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