KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A community walk designed to emphasize the values shared by people of different cultures, faiths and social classes will mark the one-year anniversary of the day a man consumed with hatred toward Jews shot and killed three people in suburban Kansas City.
The Faith, Love & Walk on Monday begins at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas, where William Corporon, 69, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, were shot to death on April 13, 2014. Another victim, Terri LaManno, 53, was killed at the nearby Village Shalom retirement home.
None of the three victims were Jewish. The man charged with killing them, Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., of Aurora, Missouri, has said in court and during interviews with The Associated Press that he did so because he thought he was dying and felt it was his duty. Miller, who could get the death penalty if convicted, has said he plans to use his August murder trial to "put the Jews on trial where they belong."
Mindy Corporon, whose father and son were killed, spearheaded the SevenDays-Make A Ripple, Change the World event, which started April 7 and included speeches and activities promoting understanding and community. She said she and organizers intentionally wanted the week to end with a walk and celebration.
"A walk, with everyone joined together, brings solidarity," Corporon said. "It shows all races, cultures and religions joining together. It shows we aren't all going to shoot each other, we can overcome the hate in our community."
Organizers said a few days before the walk that at least 2,000 people had signed up to participate.
Each day of SevenDays events had a theme, and Monday's was intentionally designated as "Onward," said Corporon, who hopes to make the week an annual event.
"We have to go onward from here," she said. "We didn't want our family members to die in vain. So many people have been drawn to this idea, that light should outshine darkness. It's going to keep going."
Ken Sigman, chairman of the Jewish Community Center's Board of Directors, said in a statement that the center was honored to participate in activities designed to embrace diversity, kindness, faith and love.
"These values have been integral to the (center) for more than 100 years and, in light of last year's tragedy, are even more important today," he said.