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Virginia Beach unveils designs for mass shooting memorial — and you can vote on which one you like

A rendering of a proposed memorial design from Dills Architects. (Image: Screenshot of presentation to 5/31 Memorial Commission.)
A rendering of a proposed memorial design from Dills Architects. (Image: Screenshot of presentation to 5/31 Memorial Commission.)

Two architecture firms presented their visions this week for what a Virginia Beach mass shooting memorial could look like.

The proposed designs come from Virginia Beach-based Dills Architects and Rhodeside & Harwell Incorporated out of northern Virginia. 

Both presented the proposals Thursday at a 5/31 Memorial Committee meeting. The memorial will be built at Nimmo Parkway and Princess Anne Road, across the street from the Municipal Center. 

Dills’ layout includes what they call a hero tree, survivor’s grove and memorial glade, including calming waterfalls and a stone pathway.

“We felt strongly about reflection,” Clay Dills said at the meeting. “The paths that people take to reflect, to heal, the journey of that.”

Rhodeside and Harwell’s design also focuses on reflection, serenity and meditation, said Elliott Rhodeside.

Theirs includes a walled memorial at the entrance that is lit at night, a pond walk and a remembrance garden.

Starting Friday, residents can weigh in on the designs through a survey on the Virginia Beach website.

Katherine is WHRO’s climate and environment reporter. She came to WHRO from the Virginian-Pilot in 2022. Katherine is a California native who now lives in Norfolk and welcomes book recommendations, fun science facts and of course interesting environmental news.


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