This one has personal significance to me. I was a student at the University of Florida during the summer of 1990 when serial killer Danny Rolling went on a murder spree. The last 2 victims were close friends of my roommate at the time. It was a scary time to be there, with a new victim found every few days and we were uncertain when the killing would stop. These murders were particularly brutal and I still remember the palpable current of fear that ran through campus during that time.
The Wall on 34th Street has been something of an institution in Gainesville since before my time there and even has its own wikipedia page. Students regularly paint over sections of the wall with various messages but this is the only one that has remained since it was painted in 1990. It’s very touching to me to see that students and other area residents not only do not paint over this portion, they maintain it.
The university also planted 5 trees in as a memorial to these students. I remember when they were first planted, tiny saplings. Now I go back and they are full grown mature trees and it saddens me to think that unlike the trees, these 5 young people never got a chance to grow up and were denied so many years of life – years that I have been blessed to have.