(JTA) – Thousands of people in a Kansas City suburb took part in a march to mark the first anniversary of deadly shootings outside of two Jewish institutions.
The three-mile Peace Walk began at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kan., culminating seven days of events planned by the families of the victims promoting “faith, love and kindness” called Seven Days: Make a Ripple, Change the World.
Registration for the walk was cut off at 3,000 people, though many more wanted to participate. The walkers came from every segment of the city’s population, according to reports.
Rabbi Jonathan Rudnick gave a blessing at the start of the walk. “They threw in their lot with the Jewish people, and we will always honour their memories,” he said.
William Lewis Corporon, a retired physician, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, were gunned down in the parking lot of the JCC, and Terri LaManno, a mother of two, was killed in the parking lot at Village Shalom, a Jewish assisted-living facility a few blocks away, where she was visiting her mother.
None of the three victims were Jewish.
Frazier Glenn Miller, a former Ku Klux Klan grand dragon, will go on trial later this year for the murders, Miller has pleaded not guilty to charges of capital murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder, one count of aggravated assault and one count of criminal discharge of a weapon at a structure. State prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Miller, who is chronically ill with emphysema and believed he was about to die when he perpetrated the attacks, told the Kansas City Star in an interview that: “I wanted to make damned sure I killed some Jews or attacked the Jews before I died.”