The three 8½-foot-high black granite monumental stones unveiled Tuesday at the site of the deadly Salvation Army thrift store collapse face inward, away from the busy Center City intersection of 22nd and Market Streets.
Engraved on the stones are the names of the people killed in the June 5, 2013, collapse. On that bright, beautiful morning, a three-to-four-story wall of an adjacent building that was being demolished collapsed onto the thrift shop, killing six and injuring 13 others.
On Tuesday — another lovely June morning — hundreds attended an hour-long anniversary ceremony dedicating the June 5th Memorial Park. Mayor Kenney was among the speakers.
“My daughter, Anne, was crushed to death right here,” Winkler told those gathered.
The others killed at the site were: Anne Bryan’s childhood best friend, Mary Simpson, 24; Roseline Conteh, 52, a nurse from Sierra Leone; Kimberly Finnegan, 35, a cashier working her first shift at the thrift store; Borbor Davis, 68, a Salvation Army employee from Liberia; and Juanita Harmon, 75, a retired secretary at the University of Pennsylvania.
“The city was shocked by the level of greed and indifference to human life and safety demonstrated by so many people who were aware of the dangerous demolition but did nothing,” Winkler said in her remarks.
She spoke of the need for continued vigilance by the city of safety standards. “Demolitions are dangerous,” she said, noting a building collapse in North Philadelphia Monday morning that killed a demolition worker, Harvey Figgs.
A brother of Harmon’s, Charles Harmon, 87, said he hoped his sister’s death “will inspire commercial workers to make sure that they do the proper things when they construct sites.”
Zhee Carr, a daughter of Davis’, told those gathered that “it has been difficult at times,” but that she knows that her father is “in a better place.” After the ceremony, as family members gathered for a photo in front of her father’s name on one of the granite stones, she said she wanted to return to the site when it’s quiet.
“I will try to come around here when no one else is here,” said Carr, of Newark, Del., as she stood near her mother, Maggie Davis, and siblings Maryann Mason and Joseph McClain.
Building a reflective space was a goal of the memorial created by architect Scott Aker and artist Barbara Fox. “The idea for the memorial was to create something that was both public and private,” Fox said after the ceremony.
The three vertical stones curve inward like “arms wrapping around” to embrace the victims’ families, she said.
“This is a sacred space,” Winkler said afterward as she stood in front of the granite stones, where the bodies of her daughter and the other victims were found by first responders. Closer to the street corner, an Amur Maackia tree was planted to honor the responders.
Winkler chose the Emily Dickinson poem “Unable Are the Loved to Die,” which is quoted on one of the stones.
“Anne loved Emily Dickinson,” Winkler said, adding: “We’re here to say, in a way, these people still live in our hearts, and love is the most important thing.”
Staff writer Claudia Irizarry-Aponte contributed to this article.