Multiple South Florida cities are replacing their Fourth of July fireworks displays with tributes to the victims of the Champlain Towers South and the rescue workers still searching the pile of rubble left by the collapsed condominium.
Surfside, where the beachfront condo stood, has asked residents to stop outside at 9 p.m. Sunday with a candle, flashlight or their phone and share a moment of remembrance. Miami Beach, just blocks to the south, and the nearby community of Bal Harbor are also joining the “shine a light” event after canceling earlier fireworks celebrations, the Miami Herald reported.
“We just felt that this is not a time to be celebrating,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber told NPR. “It’s a time to really be standing with these family members who are hoping against hope right now.”
Nearby Miami Shores, Aventura and North Bay Village also canceled their fireworks displays out of respect for the victims of the collapse. Some other towns did not schedule displays because of COVID-19.
“Right now, I don’t think it’s much time to party,” said Miami Beach resident Antonio Urdaneta told Miami’s WSVN News. “I think right now more than ever, we need to take care of our buildings, our community, our neighbors and do what’s right.”