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Binghamton marks 14 years since American Civic Association shooting

Community members gathered to honor the 13 people killed in the 2009 shooting at Binghamton's American Civic Association Monday.
Vaughn Golden
Community members gathered on Monday to honor the 13 people killed in the 2009 shooting at Binghamton's American Civic Association.

The Binghamton community gathered on Monday to mark the 14th anniversary of the American Civic Association mass shooting.

Lubomyr Zobniw lost his wife Maria, a caseworker at the American Civic Association in Binghamton. Maria came in on her day off for a citizenship class when she and 12 others were killed.

Lubomyr compares the doves on the memorial on Front Street in Binghamton to cranes in a Ukrainian folk song.

“The cranes are saying we will return to Ukraine or die trying to cross the ocean to our native land,” Zobniw related. “And this has a lot of symbolism, in particular to Maria because she always sent her children to Ukraine and she never made it."

Several community leaders, faith leaders and family members of the victims spoke during the service Monday.

Hussein Adams, current director of the ACA, said the tragedy serves as a reminder of immigrants’ and refugees' contributions and presence in the community.

"They have worked very hard and tirelessly to build up the foundation of this city and this community and this country,” Adams said. “So, our goal is to continue to try to help remove those barriers and misunderstandings."

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across New York since 2016. Working as a freelancer while studying journalism and economics at Ithaca College, Vaughn has reported for a number of outlets including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, and NPR among others. Prior to coming to WSKG full-time, Vaughn was a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times. Vaughn now covers government and politics for WSKG.