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The Doves Are Back In The Sky At Binghamton's ACA Memorial

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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -

The white doves are back in formation, flying over the American Civic Association memorial in Binghamton. The glass birds were taken down late last year, due to some damage from the weather. 

"Some of the original birds were done as a three piece unit and it was right where they met that failed and really it was the adhesive was stronger than the glass," says David Marsland, the ACA Memorial Project Coordinator. 

The 13 doves represent each of the lives lost in the American Civic Association shooting on April 3, 2009.

"My wife, Hong Xiu Mao, was one of the first people shot in the tragedy," says Marsland. He's standing feet away from the plaque dedicated to her on the Front Street monument. 

Hong Xiu Mao was one of around 40 people sitting in English and citizenship classes at the American Civic Association when gunman Jiverly Wong opened fire. To this date, it's still the deadliest terror attack in New York State since 9/11. 

In the aftermath, Marsland says the monument at the corner of Front and Clinton Streets became a central part of the healing process.

"Here's the equation, when something like this befalls you, you can either run away from it or you can run into it," says Marsland.

He threw himself into the planning process and, over the years, the upkeep of the memorial and the park around it. Now, he's asking for a little help. A GoFundMe account has been created to collect donations for an endowment for the park. The families of the victims are partnering with The Community Foundation For South Central New York to create the fund.

"You know, if there's any cracking in the concrete stands or any of the metal parts rust and need repainting, we'd like to see that taken care of quickly and efficiently without burdening any one of the taxpayers," says Marsland.

The goal is to make sure the monument, a symbol of hope and healing, is maintained for generations to come.