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Memorial event held on 35th anniversary of San Ysidro McDonald's massacre

Posted at 6:35 AM, Jul 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-18 15:07:28-04

SAN YSIDRO, Calif. (CNS) - Southwestern College holds a memorial event at its Higher Education Center in San Ysidro on Thursday to mark the 35th anniversary of the McDonald's shooting that left 21 dead and 19 others injured.

The event featured a community resource fair, a memorial ceremony and a student artwork display at the college's Higher Education Center, which is located at the former site of the McDonald's restaurant. The center also has a memorial with 21 hexagonal pillars representing each of the shooting's victims.

"It opens up the wounds. You never learn to get over it," says Guillermo Flores, who lost his brother in the shooting. His younger brother David was 11 years old at the time. "You just learn how to live with that pain."

The shooting is the seventh-deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history and was the deadliest mass shooting ever committed in the U.S. at the time. The gunman, who lived roughly 200 yards from the San Ysidro restaurant, was killed by a sniper with the San Diego Police Department. The victims ranged in age from eight months to 74 years old.

"This is our pain. Our city," says Flores. "So we cherish that, it makes us stronger. It has too."