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West End-Elliott Overlook to host overdose memorial service

Chuck Biedka
ptroverdose04090117
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
“Pittsburgh Won’t Forget U,” a group supporting the friends and families of opioid overdose victims, plans a memorial of victims' photos similar to the one put up at Pittsburgh's City-County Building last year.

Organizers for May’s “Pittsburgh Won’t Forget U” observance don’t want to miss anyone from the region who has died from opioid overdose.

On May 20, the group will assemble a photo wall of the dead as a memorial at the West End-Elliott Overlook on Marlow Street in Pittsburgh.

The event will begin at 3 p.m. with registration of victim names and placing photos on the wall.

At 5:30 p.m. a reading of victims’ names will begin.

Families or friends will be stepping forward to present a tribute to their dearly departed, said Jeanna Fisher of Baldwin, whose daughter Marley is among the dead.

Memorial tributes are expected to include releases of balloons, doves, butterflies, flower petals, kites, presentations of music and poetry or prayer services, according to Fisher.

An optional invitation is extended to families to come before the 5:30 p.m. reading with a picnic dinner for themselves and to bring a dessert to share with others in attendance.

“The dinner gathering on the scenic overlook will help bereaved families meet people who have suffered the same experiences, share their grief, discuss ways they can advocate change in the epidemic that took their loved ones, and, for some, an opportunity to heal,” Fisher said.

Families that can’t attend but want to participate can do so by turning to the group’s Facebook page at facebook.com/OD.victims or by emailing [email protected].

Fisher said victim names will be announced by local founders of anti-drug advocacy groups, recovering addicts, and victims’ friends or family members.

Some people only know the dead in statistics, but families hope to put a name and face on the victims, Fisher said.

“We also wish to draw attention to Pittsburgh Won’t Forget U’s so others will never go through the heartaches they have suffered through their loved one’s addiction and ultimate death,” Fisher said in the statement.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4711, [email protected] or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.

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