Officials Gather At High Falls To Remember The '64 Riots & Talk About The Future

Jul 23, 2014

Credit Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Local and state officials marked two events at High Falls Wednesday night: The 50th anniversary of the Rochester riots and the re-lighting of the Falls.

With inspirational singing to close the ceremony just before the lighting of High Falls at the Pont de Rennes bridge, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and city and state representatives looked back and looked ahead to what is next for the city and its people.

The High Falls have not been lit up for a few years now, partly due to budget issues, but State Senator Joe Robach helped secure a quarter-million dollars to improve the lighting for the falls as well as do some work on trails in the area.

Warren talked about the injustices that led to the 1964 riots, but she also wanted to look at the challenges that still lie ahead.

"The re-lighting of the falls is symbolic of the hope we have for the future, the rebirth of Rochester that began 50 years ago on Joseph Avenue, not too far from here."

Assemblyman David Gantt, who was 23 years old and lived near the area where the '64 riots broke out, called on Rochesterians to continue to talk to each other and try to understand each other's point of view. He says that is vital if the community is to change for the better.