BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) – A message from Boulder Deputy City Manager Chris Meschuk is especially important Wednesday, as we remember the 10 lives lost when a gunman opened fire in the King Soopers in Boulder.
The exercise he wants everybody to do when they’re feeling stressed or anxious is simple but effective: Stop what you’re doing, take 10 slow breaths followed by 10 minutes of silence.
“We have even started to talk about what does the one year mark look like? What does bringing our community together look like and what does reflection and healing look like?” Meschuk said.
While the community continues to heal after the shooting, the city is involved with multiple projects to memorialize the victims of the tragedy.
Museum of Boulder preserving memorial artifacts
The Museum of Boulder collected items for long-term preservation from the makeshift memorial created in front of the King Soopers on Table Mesa Drive.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the chain-link fence that surrounded the grocery store for weeks to drop off flowers, candles and mementos.
“Our goal is to provide and serve as a conduit for our community,” said executive director for the museum Lori Preston. “There are artifacts and special treasures and incredible stories. We feel like it’s really important to be the collector and preserver of some of those items, as we’ve done in Boulder’s history for 76 years.”
The museum worked tirelessly to preserve memorabilia from inclement weather in the weeks after the shooting, including snow, before the chain-link fence was eventually taken down from the perimeter of the store.
Curator of Collections at the museum Chelsea Pennington Hahn said they are planning to do a small one-year anniversary exhibit next year to include some of the objects they’ve collected.
While there are no definite dates just yet, they hope it will run from February to mid-April in the second floor gallery.
The museum is working with CU professor of photography and long-time photojournalist Ross Taylor to create a portrait project to capture how people have been affected by the shooting.
A memorial honoring the victims
Meschuk says the city has been researching other memorials for mass tragedies to possibly create something unique and permanent for the Boulder community.
This process will take more time and public outreach to get community input, probably several years according to Meschuk.
The cost and location are still not set in stone, as the discussions are still in the early stages.
“How do we honor the 10 lives that were lost in the community, and how do we also celebrate what community means when everyone came together to support each other,” Meschuk said.
Meschuk referred to the Boston Marathon bombing memorial as an example of a permanent fixture in that community, which had a lot of intention and time behind it.
As a reference, the memorial for the Aurora theater shooting victims took roughly five years to image, design, build and dedicate.
Reimagining the Boulder King Soopers
Construction is underway to rebuild the interior, exterior and the parking lot for the King Soopers where the shooting took place at 3600 Table Mesa Dr.
The original timetable had the grocery store opening in the fall, however due to supply chain issues for materials, King Soopers spokeswoman Jessica Trowbridge said that timeline may have to wait until next spring.
“We know that the building is just part of what makes this store so special and that restoring it is another step in the journey as we continue to rebuild and heal,” Trowbridge said in a statement.
King Soopers continues to operate a Boulder Strong Resource center at 2935 Baseline Road and encourage anyone in need of support visit the center, which gives the public access to mental health services.