College pays tribute to victims of McDonald’s massacre for 37th anniversary

Local

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Southwestern College hosted a memorial Sunday to commemorate the 37-year anniversary of what was at the time the largest mass shooting in American history.

The Higher Education Center at San Ysidro, 460 West San Ysidro Boulevard, was the scene of a tribute to the 21 victims who lost their lives on July 18, 1984, at the site of the former McDonald’s restaurant, said Andre Harris, spokesman for Southwestern College.

In front of the center stood a memorial that features 21 hexagonal pillars representing each victim. The memorial was decorated with flower displays.

Family members related to some of the victims were present at the memorial.

The massacre happened at a McDonald’s restaurant in San Ysidro, where 41-year-old James Huberty fatally shot 21 people and wounded 19 others before being killed by a police sniper about 77 minutes after he first opened fire.

“Southwestern College’s Higher Education Center was built on the site of the former McDonald’s,” Harris said. “It stands as a symbol of triumph over tragedy in the community. The Higher Education Center is viewed as education outlasting hate and violence.”

Southwestern College Superintendent and President Mark Sanchez said the date “lives forever in our hearts. We stand with those whose lives were forever altered by this tragedy. We grieve and mourn with the entire community, but we also hope our institution can stand as a symbol of triumph over tragedy, hope over helplessness, and love over loss.”

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