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If Steel Could Keep Out Hate

Statement of Dennis Martire, LIUNA Mid-Atlantic Vice President and Regional Manager on Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting 

Pittsburgh, Pa. (October 29, 2018) -- In response to the tragedy that took the lives of 11 people, injured six others, and affected the entire city of Pittsburgh over the weekend, Dennis Martire made the following statement:

Pittsburgh’s steel skyscrapers earned it the nickname of “steel city”. As part of an organization whose members have helped build the city, I know the buildings and bridges were built safe and strong to withstand intense conditions. However, after this most recent hate-driven attack, I wish the steel for which the city is known was strong enough to keep out hate.

For Pittsburgh natives like myself, this shooting hits closest to home out of the far too-many happening throughout the country. The Tree of Life Synagogue is a half hour from where I grew up and I can remember friends of mine going there to attend religious services. This is a place that people go to for sanctuary and to freely practice Judaism, not to be victimized by something that makes them who they are.

More and more it seems like these hate-driven, violent crimes are becoming commonplace, and that is something we cannot accept. Innocent men and women continue losing their lives and families are losing loved ones because nothing changes in response to acts of violence. Many of us do not have control over laws that could make these incidents less likely, but what we all have control over is how we treat one another. We all can denounce hate and encourage civility and respect for peoples’ religion, race, and gender.

Pittsburgh’s nickname does not just reflect its steel buildings, but the steel-like strength of its residents. That is why the city may be shaken right now, but it will recover from this. LIUNA stands with Pittsburgh and its Jewish communities as we offer our deepest condolences to the families dealing with a death or injury of a loved one in this attack.


The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Mid-Atlantic Region represents more than 40,000 working men and women predominantly in the construction industry in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, Virginia and North Carolina