On Black Monday community works to reclaim the Valley's identity
Forty-two years ago, many of the Valley's steel mills closed in what would become known as "Black Monday."
Thursday, September 19th 2019, 11:09 PM EDT by
Thursday, September 19th 2019, 11:09 PM EDT
Forty-two years ago, many of the Valley's steel mills closed in what would become known as "Black Monday." Today there is an effort to recognize that past, but to continuously work to rewrite the future of our area.
"We have to understand that our destinies are tied together," said Derrick McDowell, who is an active community advocate and organized an event that took place on top of the Walton Street Bridge.
A small crowd came together just as the sun started to set on what has become known as the anniversary of Black Monday.
Perhaps a symbolic time of day for the message the group was working to send.
"We can't continue to live in the Youngstown, the Campbell, the Struthers of old, we've got to be in the present, preparing for the future and it's going to take a lot of work," said McDowell.
The location selected to send this message was also symbolic - the bridge geographically located where Youngstown, Struthers, and Campbell all meet. It also was once the gateway to Youngstown Sheet and Tube.
"We took an economy and an identity that had been around for more than a century and it was just laid to waste and so we have to redefine ourselves," said Bill Lawson with the Mahoning Valley Historical Society.
Those tasked at being at the forefront of redefining our Valley are elected officials.
"There's a lot of things in the hopper we know that water is a magnet, it's going to draw people there," said Struthers Mayor Terry Stocker.
And Mayor Nick Phillips of Campbell said, "A boardwalk, I see restaurants around the river, industry, we're talking hundreds of acres of property ready for development."
The night ended with three spotlights cast into the night sky.
A sign of unity with a light on the Valley's future.