MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Families of Surfside victims held a news conference Thursday afternoon to push for a permanent memorial at the site of the condo collapse.
One by one they came up to the microphone and said they did not want another building to be built on what they consider hallowed ground.READ MORE: Group Protesting Haitian Deportations Blocked Entrance To PortMiami
“We don’t build over dead people,” was their cry.
Three months after the Surfside disaster, the people who lost loved ones stood feet from
the site and pledged to build a memorial on the site.
“This spot is sacred. It shouldn’t be anything other than a memorial,” said Ronit Felszer
whose 21-year-old son was killed in the disaster.
Monica Iken is helping to lead the charge. Her husband died in the world trade center terrorist attack 20 years ago and she helped engineer the delicate task of securing the space and money for a memorial in New York City at the site of the destroyed twin towers.
“I go there and I feel at home. I can’t take him home. This is where he took his last breath,” she says.
Vicky Btesh whose husband died in the surfside disaster says it was his favorite place on earth and it’s where she wants to mourn and celebrate his life.
“I want to reflect here, not at a cemetery. If they build a building you can’t come
“I want to reflect here not at a cemetery. If they build a building you can’t come here anymore.”READ MORE: Hollywood Neighborhood Stunned After Police Officer Yandy Chirino Was Fatally Shot
It won’t be easy.
The site is for sale and developers are exploring possibilities.
There are survivors who want another home built here.
Moshe Candiotti, who narrowly escaped the crumbling structure in June was at the news conference. He said he is happy to live elsewhere but his condo was his life savings.
“As long as they pay us, I’m okay with a memorial. I have no money for a new home,” he said.
Rabbi Lisa Shrem who lost her best friend in the calamity called on donors and philanthropists to make the memorial a reality.
“If you are a private entity, Please reach out to us and help us make this happen,” she said.
Champlain Towers South collapsed on Thursday, June 24, at approximately 1:25 a.m.MORE NEWS: Fort Lauderdale Police Investigating School Threats
Ninety-eight people died.