April 10, 2019 Declared 'Stronger Than Hate' Day

The PA Legislature held a rare joint session Wednesday to honor the victims of the Tree of Life shooting

Shelby Cassesse
April 10, 2019 - 1:15 pm
Tree of Life Memorial

© Courier Journal-USA Today Network


PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - The Pennsylvania Legislature held a rare joint legislative session Wednesday to honor the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting.

The last time the state legislature gathered for a joint session of this kind was September 25, 2001, just days after the 9/11 attacks.

This time, they gathered to declare April 10, 2019 "Stronger Than Hate Day" and honor the victims in the October shooting.

Representative Dan Frankel held back tears as he spoke about each victim

“The 11 people murdered on October 27, 2018, were supposed to have year of good works ahead of them,” said Frankel. “They were givers and helpers and they made the world better with their very existence.”

Congregations belonging to the Tree of Life and family members of the victims attended, as well. 

Rabbi Cheryl Klein, a member of the Dor Hadash congregation issued a call to action against white supremacy and antisemitism.

"This diseased American moment was antisemitism in our face," she said. "It is ugly, unacceptable and its condemnation needs to be met with tireless strength." 

Governor Tom Wolf released the following statement before the join session:

       “For Frances and me, the profound tragedy of the Tree of Life shooting continues to weigh heavily on our minds and souls, even these months later. But we continue to be inspired by the ways in which the people of Pittsburgh came and          stood together in the face of hatred and violence. We owe a debt of gratitude to all those who chose love over hate. A dark and despicable act inspired thousands to reach out and find ways to lift up their grieving and terrified neighbors.            There were too many inspiring moments and acts of kindness to count.

  “We must continue to work together to combat hatred and promote kindness. We must continue to reject antisemitism, white nationalism and any kind of bigotry. We must continue to be a Commonwealth that welcomes people, no matter      where they come from. We must continue to put politics aside and work together to make sure we protect the people of Pennsylvania.

    “I thank the House and the Senate for coming together today to honor these victims. While solving these challenges will not be easy, the work is essential for our Commonwealth to truly reflect our values.”


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