We Remember Them Room
This room honored the lives of the six students who were killed and mourned their loss. Our project team worked with the families of the victims in planning what was displayed in the room, which made the process especially meaningful for us. The room featured family-approved biographies and photographs, as well as supportive messages written by community members, family, and friends in the wake of the tragedy. There was also a section dedicated to those who were injured, featuring messages of encouragement.
Students folding paper cranes for an event titled "1,000 Cranes of Love" during the Week of Solidarity in 2014. In Japan, a thousand cranes are a symbol of peace, unity, and healing. After the cranes were folded, student volunteers left them at the spontaneous memorial sites in Isla Vista, and gave them to community members impacted by the tragedy. Over three hundred cranes were collected and archived.
More than one hundred of the origami cranes were hung in a display in our exhibit. As precious artifacts, they were hung in an elaborate web of strings so that each crane was carefully cradled and none were damaged in the process. Together the strands formed a semi-circle to represent a hug, so that visitors could feel they were being embraced, and they could look out and view one of the six biographical sections from any angle. This art installation project was designed by local artist Ethan Turpin and was brought to fruition with the assistance of our volunteers.
These items were some of the artifacts on display in our exhibit case in the center of the room. Each of the six artifacts represent one of the victims, and the painted rocks were also left at the spontaneous memorial sites in Isla Vista. The glass heart with dried flowers was created by artisan Ruth Wales by utilizing flower petals collected by our project team members from the spontaneous memorial sites in Isla Vista. This particular heart belongs to the University and is in the archive; similar versions of this heart were gifted to the families of the victims.