McDonalds massacre
The memorial at the site of the 1984 San Ysidro shooting. Courtesy Southwestern College

Southwestern College hosted a memorial Sunday to commemorate the anniversary of what was at the time the largest mass shooting in American history.

The remembrance took place at the Higher Education Center at San Ysidro, the site of the former McDonalds where 21 victims lost their lives on July 18, 1984, said Andre Harris, a spokesman for Southwestern College.

In front of the center stands a memorial that features 21 hexagonal pillars representing each victim. Flower displays decorated them.

Family members of the victims attended the memorial.

The massacre happened 37 years ago at the West San Ysidro Boulevard fast-food outlet, where James Huberty, 41, fatally shot 21 people and wounded 19 others.

About 77 minutes after he first opened fire, a police sniper killed him.

Harris said education outlasts “hate and violence.”

“Southwestern College’s Higher Education Center was built on the site of the former McDonald’s,” he said. “It stands as a symbol of triumph over tragedy in the community.”

Southwestern College Superintendent and President Mark Sanchez said July 18 “lives forever in our hearts. We stand with those whose lives were forever altered by this tragedy. We grieve and mourn with the entire community.”

The center though, he said, may stand as a symbol of “hope over helplessness, and love over loss.”