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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Remembering the Ridge represents unwavering strength in the community

Remembering the Ridge allows people to attach items to memorialize what was lost in the Camp Fire. Photo credit: Mitchell Kret

The Remembering the Ridge memorial event was held in the breezeway of Meriam Library April 8. The event featured guest speakers, poetry, music and an introduction to the interactive art exhibit that will remain up until April 26. The exhibit itself is fencing that allows people to attach photographs, salvaged items and written messages.

“I don’t know what I feel,” Joe Wills, a local family therapist who helped host the event, said. “But I share this experience and what we went through, with all of you.”

The emotion and unity of the community was moving as people quietly attached memories of what the Camp Fire took from them. Students passing through recognized the memorial and respectfully passed through the crowded breezeway.

“Paradise, Magalia, Pulga, Chico and all other areas in the Butte County area affected by the Camp Fire: we have each other, we need each other,” Wills said.

Wills’ speech, as well as the music and poetry, highlighted the event and exhibit fantastically, offering a somber yet strong feeling amongst the crowd. They allowed people to think back and mourn the losses of the disaster that destroyed homes and communities just five months ago.

“(I saw) so much courage, selflessness and passion, in equal measure to the devastation,” Wills said. “Of course I remember the fire. But I also remember the beauty of what people did for each other.

Mitchell Kret can be reached at [email protected] or @mkret222 on Twitter.

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