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Pittsburgh mayor declines to meet with president as first funerals are held

'Our priority is the first funeral,' Mayor Bill Peduto says

PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto said he will not be meeting with President Donald Trump during his visit. 

"We did try to get our message out to the White House that our priority tomorrow is the first funeral," he told reporters Monday.

The first three funerals will be held Tuesday for Jerry Rabanowitz and David and Cecil Rosenthal, who were three of the 11 people killed in Saturday's synagogue massacre. 

Some believed the focus should remain on the victims and their families, instead of the president.

But others are striking a different tone.

"I'm a citizen. He is my president. He is certainly welcome," one man said. 

Susan Darocy was close to two of the victims, Bernice and Sylvan Simon. The couple lived just a few doors down from them in the Becon Hill neighborhood.

"Just really sweet people, family people, spiritual people and they are really going to be missed," Darocy said. 

The victims -- Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax, the  Rosenthal's and the Simon's -- all are being described as people devoted to faith, family and community.

"How terrible for both the husband and the wife together," Darocy said. 

The Simon's died together in the same synagogue they were married in 60 years ago.

"They were wonderful people in our community and just wonderful human beings, and may God rest their souls," Darocy said. 


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