CORAL SPRING, Fla. - In front of a crowd of thousands, the temporary art installation Temple of Time was ignited Sunday night, serving as metaphor for moving beyond the grief of the Parkland school shooting.
The ornate building resembled Buddhist temples in the Far East. Artist David Best, of California, wanted it to attract the grieving and bring them peace. It took 24 people and several days to put together, its peak reaching 35 feet.
The Temple of Time opened to the public for the first time on the one-year anniversary of the shooting. It became a place of solace and quiet reflection. People have been leaving notes inside the temple since February.
The ceremonial fire began just after sundown in the 9500 block of West Sample Road after 17 torches ignited the wooden structure. The torches were held by a select few, representing each of the lives lost on Feb. 14. The families of several Parkland victims were in attendance.
"Burning really is like a purification ritual. So, in a ritual way, you can release the pain, the grief," said Judith Gulko, a member of Professionals United for Parkland.
A native of California, Best was inspired by the Burning Man music festival and has been creating these temporary installations since 2000. Other temples honored victims of suicide and people who were killed during the strife in Northern Ireland.
"Some of these children, some of these people were so beautiful. They were only here for a short time. This is only here for a short time. I don’t want the parents that lost their kids to have to come and see this thing here for 10 years. I want them to go on with their own life," Best told Local 10's Neki Mohan.
Sample Road from University Drive to Coral Hills Drive was closed from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
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