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E2 nightclub tragedy victims honored on 10th anniversary

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mourners gathered at a vigil early Sunday to remember those who died 10 years ago in the E2 nightclub tragedy.

Ten years later, families are remembering the lives lost but also wondering when they will finally get answers.

It's a symbol of their love and remembrance of those lost in the E2 nightclub tragedy.

Family and friends released 21 balloons representing each person killed exactly at 2:24 a.m. Sunday morning, the time someone released pepper spray to break up a fight, causing a stampede inside the club.

With another anniversary, many still find themselves mired in the past as the memories come flooding back to February 17, 2003.

But although it's been a decade since his youngest son Dashand died, Howard Ray Sr. and his family still don't have closure.

"Justice is out there and we're going to continue to it," Ray said.

Like others, they want to know why no one's been held responsible for the worst nightclub tragedy in Chicago history.

"We've got to keep moving forward to try to make sure that this doesn't happen again anywhere else, because it can happen," said Ken Ray.

Convictions against the owners of E2 were overturned, while legal battles continue in court.

Each victim's family did get a $100,000 settlement from the club owners insurance.

The Ray family still has a suit against the DJ's employer.

"What kept this club open?" Howard Ray Jr. said. "Because if this club was closed, we wouldn't have had so many injuries."

Sunday afternoon a second vigil, as new crosses with the names and pictures of each victim sit outside the former South Loop establishment as many wait for closure and ability to move on.

The remembrance may be over, but the acknowledgement of the tragedy has not. The crosses that were placed outside the former nightclub for those victims will remain there about a week.

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