PINECREST (CBSMiami) – The Steven Sotloff Pinecrest Memorial commemoration was held at the Pinecrest Gardens on Saturday.READ MORE: Zoo Miami Helps Discover A Brand New Spider Species In Miami
“This memorial is very important because that will be a place that I will be able to go and pay my respects to my son,” Arthur Sotloff told CBS4’s News partner the Miami Herald.
Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner understands. Her husband Irv’s parents, like Shirley Sotloff’s, survived the Holocaust. The Lerners and Sotloffs are longtime friends. The Lerners’ oldest daughter, Jill, was a childhood friend of Steven’s, their birthdays a few months apart.
“When Steven was going back and forth and writing these stories, his parents were always very proud of the journalist integrity that he showed and the commitment he showed by being able to write about across-the-world crisis situations,” Lerner says.
The ceremony was held at 5:30 p.m. in Pinecrest Gardens located at 11000 Red Road.
The memorial is located under the great Banyan tree in a shaded area with nearby seating. The garden is centered on three water features, a long-time tenet of garden design, often referring to heaven, Earth and man.
The Sotloffs helped design the memorial by choosing the elements, plants and colors that would allow for meaningful reflection.
The public memorial, Lerner said, will be meaningful for the community.READ MORE: Hialeah Gardens Bus Stop Shooting, 1 Dead, 2 Injured
“The design was something down to the types of plants and colors that Shirley and Art felt would allow for a thoughtful setting to think about Steven. The hope is that who he was and what his life meant to all of us is something that will hopefully inspire others to speak up for some of the tragic consequences of what goes on in the world,” Lerner says.
The Village of Pinecrest, in partnership with the Miami Foundation and Home Depot, will open the Steven Sotloff Memorial at Pinecrest Gardens.
Steven Sotloff was killed in September of 2014, beheaded by ISIS terrorists in the Syrian desert.
Shirley and Arthur Sotloff, along with family friends, created the 2Lives Steven Joel Sotloff Memorial Foundation to endow scholarships to students seeking careers in journalism.
The Sotloffs were thinking – in addition to handing out journalism scholarships – of pairing with Diane Foley, mother of James Foley who was also killed by ISIS, to establish a hostage crisis center for families in the United States.
“The U.K. has a crisis place for families to go to. The U.S. has nothing,” Shirley says.
“Twenty years from now I want to make sure my son’s name is remembered by doing good things,” Arthur says.MORE NEWS: Vaccination Sites Ready For Influx After Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Paused
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