Remembering those lost at a night-time viewing of the ‘Eternal Flame’ Memorial, Atlanta GA

ATLANTA, GA, UNITED STATES, June 29, 2023/ — A touching ceremony led by mayors, local officials and victims’ families marked the unveiling Tuesday of “Eternal Flame,” the memorial by international artist Gordon Huether to honor and remember the 30 young people slain during the Atlanta Child Murders of 1979 to 1981. The 55-foot-long artwork features a remembrance wall with the name of each victim mounted next to an accompanying shelf for mourners to place special mementos in honor of children lost too soon.

Artist Gordon Huether stands before his work, ‘Eternal Flame,’ at the public unveiling

Former Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who spearheaded the remembrance efforts that led to creation of “Eternal Flame,” said, “Every single person who walks on the grounds of Atlanta’s City Hall will remember those children who mattered to us then, matter to us now, and they will matter to us for generations forward.”

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, who was 4-6 years old at the time, said, “Those of you who were here know just how on edge this entire city was during that period,” and the community-wide efforts to support the families and ongoing efforts to keep kids safe.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and Former Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who spearheaded the remembrance efforts that led to creation of “Eternal Flame.”

The Eternal Flame memorial includes a 55-foot-long remembrance wall; seating faces the expansive wall, where visitors can spend time, contemplate, and pay their respects. At the far end of the memorial, an Eternal Flame burns as an enduring and inspiring tribute to the victims and all those affected. The semi-enclosed space creates a symbolic embrace meant to comfort and sustain visitors.

Centered within the semi-enclosed space is a granite inlay engraved with Pearl Cleage’s A Poem for Our Children, which was commissioned to commemorate the victims.

“I wanted to create a tribute to the victims and to their families,” Huether said. “A testament that these lost lives still matter. I wanted to create a space that was healing, comforting, and would give the viewer a sense of closure.” –Gordon Huether, Artist

Read more / see images about the Eternal Flame Memorial project: