The United States is no stranger to acts of terrorism. Many citizens have had to endure extreme loss, and most have a lingering sense of fear thanks to the horrific acts that have occurred both in this country and to Americans abroad.
One such act recently struck very close to home. Steven Sotloff grew up in Pinecrest and his family continues to reside in the Village. Steven went missing in August 2013 while writing about the Syrian civil war as a freelance journalist for several publications. The world watched in horror as Steven was executed, on September 2, 2014, publicized for the world to see. He was the second American journalist whose execution was released worldwide, causing an international response.
Though it’s hard to forget the unspeakable act, “it must not be what we remember him by,” said Mayor of Pinecrest Cindy Lerner, who knew Steven since his birth. “Rather [we must remember] his desire as a young journalist, to shed light on conflict and its impact on the innocents all over the world,” she added. To help spread this message, and as a memorial to Steven, a donor fund has been set up to collect money to build a memorial garden in Pinecrest Gardens in memory of Steven. “We are grateful to Mayor Cindy Lerner and the Village of Pinecrest for proposing this beautiful memorial to be placed in Pinecrest Gardens on behalf of our son,” said Steven’s mother, Shirley Sotloff. Thankful to Mayor Lerner for proposing the opportunity to keep Stevens’ name alive, to know that he did good and that he wanted to tell the story of the voiceless, Sotloff hopes the memorial will provide a special place for people to visit and provide a peacefulness surrounded by beauty. “Pinecrest Gardens has always been a place of beauty and reflection,” noted Mayor Lerner, “so what better place to memorialize one of our own residents?” Many have said that Steven was, “a man who tried to bring light into dark places.” With the hope of continuing Steven’s professional goals, “[t]he Steven Sotloff memorial will shed this light for further reflection, to all who visit the Gardens,” said Mayor Lerner.
Though the funds are being raised through The Miami Foundation, Pinecrest is the entity raising these funds. Anyone interested in donating to the fund can send a check donation to The Miami Foundation at 200 South Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 505, Miami Florida 33131. Please include the Fund name, “The Steven Sotloff Memorial at Pinecrest Gardens Fund,” in the memo line. Donations can also be made online with a credit card at The Miami Foundation’s website at http://bit.ly/SotloffMemorial.
Steven was the son of Arthur and Shirley Sotloff and a grandson of Holocaust survivors. He worked for the news magazine Time, as well as Christian Science Monitor, The National Interest, Media Line, World Affairs, and Foreign Policy, and has appeared on CNN and Fox News. His work took him to Syria a number of times, as well as Egypt, Turkey, Libya, and Bahrain.