COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The central Ohio community continues to remember the lives taken too soon in Uvalde, Texas, last week.
A memorial along the 400 block of East Broad Street in Columbus has been set up outside First Congregational Church, where many people walk during the week.
Church leaders are hoping those who are in the area see the memorial, and stop to think about the victims and what can be done.
The memorial is made up of 21 school chairs, 19 for children and two for the teachers killed last Tuesday at Robb Elementary School.
“There are 19 children and two teachers that are not ever going to see a graduation or go to their first prom,” said Mark Williams, the director of Christian education for the church.
Williams said he saw other churches, schools, and organizations setting up similar memorials, so he wanted to as well.
“I thought of my children,” said Kris Burbacher, a Columbus resident. “Just in church this morning, we were saying the petitions and one of them was for the victims of the shooting and just to think if that would have been my son or my daughter.”
Brubacher has four children and said it’s not just the number of chairs she noticed, but also the sizes, with some of them being smaller than others.
“I have little kids,” she said. “I have a 7-year-old, 10-year-old, 12, and she just turned 16 and it’s the size of those chairs are the different sizes that all my kids would be sitting in. It definitely makes it personal.”
Williams said it’s important the central Ohio community keeps honoring the lives lost that didn’t need to be lost and hopes to see change.
“If you look at each one of those chairs, you can easily put a sign on each chair and say your child’s name,” he said. “If we take this personally and not about something that happened in Texas that is so removed from us in some respects, we need to own it. This is our country. We need to own what is happening in our country.”
The memorial, which was set up Sunday, will be out for at least a week, Williams said.
“I remember children in my classroom sitting in chairs like this, and I feel like we have to address this issues and we need to address it now,” Williams said.
He hopes the memorial will at least have some people stop and reflect on the tragedy.
“We see it on TV, we see it on Facebook or whatever and then we continue just to move on in our lives,” Williams said. “We’ve got to stop and we have to stop this.”