Leslie Robertson, founder of Revitalize Port Angeles, presented 20 banners full of sympathy messages for the Chattanooga community to Mayor Andy Berke in City Hall today.
Port Angeles, Wash., and Chattanooga were the final two cities in Outside Magazine's 'Best Town Ever' contest for 2015. After a close competition, Chattanooga won with 52 percent of the vote to claim its second title.
After the shooting tragedy that killed six including the gunmen on July 16, Robertson and her group wanted to do something for the Chattanooga community. The cities, who were in a rivalry just a couple months prior, she said, have become close.
"It's almost like we're sister cities," she said.
The banners were signed at a variety of locations in the Washington city of 19,000 including Port Angeles City Hall, fire department, a hospital, YMCA, senior center, Walmart and a band camp.
What was originally supposed to be one banner turned into 20 as Port Angeles residents kept wanting to express their sympathies for Chattanooga.
Mayor Berke said the banners will be displayed in the library for an unknown amount of time. After that, he isn't sure what the fate of the banners will be.
"It's clear to me people are affected way beyond Chattanooga because of this tragedy," he said. "Not only that, but the act of signing these banners is part of the healing process for them, and for us."