On an unseasonably warm Saturday in October, Pittsburgh, PA, was struck by one of the United States’ greatest tragedies in recent history. The shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill—a quiet, unassuming neighborhood in the heart of the city—sent shockwaves through the community, the country, and the world. On October 24, 2018, one man’s attack violently stole 11 lives from the Jewish community.
But Pittsburgh came together. Rather than divide itself in hate, our city united in its differences. Our common ground became the unique individuality of our neighborhoods, our communities, and our families. Regardless of background, religion, or politics, we are all Pittsburghers. Residents brought forth an outpouring of support, kindness, and love, declaring in no uncertain terms that our city would not be torn apart.
Built on the strength of its intersecting communities and overlapping neighborhoods, Pittsburgh is a town whose residents still smile when you pass by on the street. It’s a city where people still say hello in the grocery store, and it’s a community that cares for each other—always and without exception. In times of darkness and tragedy, Pittsburgh’s own Fred Rogers said it best, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people helping.”
As part of Pittsburgh for more than 40 years, ONS’s national headquarters has been touched by the tragedy in different ways. Whether through connections to the vibrant Jewish community, time spent with the people of Squirrel Hill, or simply as citizens of this proud city, many ONS staff members have been processing the aftermath of these attacks. It’s been a time of reflection, but it’s also been a time of action. And, just like the resiliency of our city, many ONS staff members have been doing their part to offer support, share resources, and contribute to recovery efforts as the community begins to heal.
In the wake of the events, ONS also received a number of messages from concerned members, sharing their well wishes and words of support for ONS staff in our national headquarters. Through letters, emails, and phone calls, the ONS membership has proven once again that nurses are in a league of their own—they are always the helpers.
ONS and its staff are grateful for the support from the ONS membership, Board of Directors, and leadership. This is our city, and—in light of the tragedy—one thing is absolutely certain: Pittsburgh is stronger than hate.