It was the deadliest terror attack since 911. Fourteen people were killed in the San Bernardino Terror Attack on Dec. 2, five years ago this day.

Wednesday brought a long-awaited ground breaking for a memorial in the victims’ honor.

“Today is a tough day. It definitely brings back memories,” Kevin Ortiz said.

Kevin Ortiz was one of several survivors who returned to the scene of the mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center.

“I was actually shot six times,” he said.

Wednesday marked the first time he has seen his office in five long years of recovery.

“After 21 days in the hospital, physical and psychological therapy as well, I finally feel like I’m in a lot better place,” he said.

He was one of many people who stopped by the corner to leave flowers.

Just across town, at the county government center, a long awaited groundbreaking unveiled plans for a memorial called “The curtain of courage.”

“Tragedy has a way of bringing us down but it also is a moment that we can uplift ourselves.” Walter Hood said.

Renowned Oakland landscape architect and artist Walter Hood said he wanted to honor the 14 lives taken that day.

“The way I thought about it was…’is there a different way to think about how tragedies happen, but more how communities come together?” he said.

Hood and his team worked together with families and survivors on the memorial which will be comprised of mesh panels made of bronze and steel cast, and various colors of glass.

It will create a place of healing and reflection for everyone, but especially the survivors, who will always remember what happened that day.

“It’s definitely something we can’t forget. Something that does not go to the back of our mind. We think about it daily,” Ortiz said.

The memorial will be constructed mostly in Oakland and brought to San Bernardino. The goal is to have it in place by early next summer.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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