Tom Hanks joins rally in honour of victims of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

Police respond to the site of a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Oct. 27, 2018. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Police respond to the site of a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighbourhood of Pittsburgh, Oct. 27, 2018. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Actors Tom Hanks and Michael Keaton jointed several hundred people for a rally in honour of those killed in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting,

The rally, under the banner “Stronger than Hate: A Gathering of Compassion, Unity and Love,” was held Friday at Point State Park, located in downtown Pittsburgh, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

The rally started with a moment of silence for the 11 killed in the Oct. 27 massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill.

Hanks was in Pittsburgh researching and filming a movie about the life of Fred Rogers, a native of Squirrel Hill. He was joined on stage by Rogers’ widow, Joanne. Keaton is a native of Pittsburgh.

“A visitor will know how great a city this is because Pittsburgh has been tested,” said Hanks.

“We gather here today on the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht: a day in which Jews in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia saw the breaking of glass of businesses, saw the vandalism and the damage done through physical harm – words of anti-Semitism, reflected 80 years ago today, in the first violent acts that would lead to the Holocaust,” Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said during the rally.

Alleged killer Robert Bowers has pleaded not guilty in federal district court and requested a jury trial in the case, which includes 44 charges, 32 of them punishable by death.

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