Community Issues

Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Mourn for Sri Lanka Victims

State lowers flags to half-staff, while Pittsburgh-based group scrambles to help

Pennsylvania will remember the victims of yesterday's bombings in Sri Lanka tonight at the State Capitol in Harrisburg. The governor's office says the Main Capitol Building will be lighted orange and green, representing two of the colors on the Sri Lankan flag.

The Capitol portico will be lit orange and green, like it was illuminated in blue after the Tree of Life massacre

Governor Tom Wolf also ordered the Commonwealth flags on all Commonwealth facilities, public buildings and grounds to fly at half-staff in honor of the victims of the attacks. Flags will remain at half-staff through Wednesday at sunset. People in Pennsylvania are especially sensitive to attacks on houses of worship in the wake of the October 27 attack at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh that killed 11.

"For the target to once again be people joining each other in worship makes yesterday's events all the more tragic." Mohan Seshadri Governor's Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs

Meantime, Pittsburgh-based Brother's Brother Foundation is scrambling to see what they can do to help the victims. The foundation specializes in helping out at disasters by working with contacts they know on the ground.

Executive Director Luke Hingson told WPXI-TV the last time they helped in Sri Lanka was after the 2004 tsunami. Since it's been 15 years since they've been in been in touch with some of the people they worked with back then, Hingson says he's not sure how successful they'll be this time, but they're going to give it a try.

"One can't help but be touched by what happened in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. Even though this is not normally what we would be doing, we are going to reach out to the community to see how we could possibly help those affected," Board President Ozzy Samad told WPXI.

Click here to donate to the effort.

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