A candlelight vigil was held in Dayton's Oregon District on Aug. 4, 2019. Earlier that morning a gunman killed nine people and caused 30 others to be injured. Dayton police killed a man they identified as the gunman.
Photo: City of Dayton
Photo: City of Dayton

What the world absolutely needs to know about Dayton, Ohio

Horrific acts by a mass shooter have thrust the Gem City into the national spotlight and have drawn the attention of news organizations near and far. 

>> RELATED: New details emerge about Dayton shooting victims

Before being shot and killed by police Sunday just after 1 a.m., a 24-year-old Bellbrook man killed nine women and men ranging from age 22 and 57. 

An additional 30 people were injured during the mass shooting and sought medical care.

>> RELATED: Oakwood graduate: ‘I never thought I’d be running for my life’

We asked current and former Miami Valley residents to share what they think the world should know about the people, places and things that make Dayton so special. 

HERE IS A SAMPLING OF RESPONSES FROM FACEBOOK: 

Alex Perry — Dayton is not just a city, it is a community. Colorful, interesting and inspiring. We are creative, hard working and innovative. We know when it's time to lend our neighbors a hand, which I believe makes us uniquely patriotic.

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Libby Ballengee  — We are about as rock'n'roll as it gets.

JoJo E Doss  —  A place of major innovation.

>> RELATED:  City of Invention: Dayton remains a cradle of creativity

Shannon Joyce Neal —  And not just in the past!! We have so many people developing cool technology right now, not just at Wright-Patt but at small businesses and start-ups.

Tre Hogue  — We love our hometown heroes like Paul Laurence Dunbar, Zapp, and Bruce Banner.

>> What Marvel character is from Dayton? 3 surprising connections to know 

Laura LS  — We will not be broken.

>>  Crowds return to Oregon District: ‘I felt God was pulling me here’

Val Hunt Beerbower (see video below)

Jason Wright  — Good stuff! Mikesells potato chips, Esther Price candy, Carillon Park, the bicycle shop that led to the airplane, the electric starter for cars, drag queens, Dayton Dragons, Christopher's restaurant, Pine Club, Air Force Base, the great mayor, the Schuster Center, Dayton Art Institute, Nancy Cartwright..... To name a few 🙂

Eric Brockman — We are featured in the international art publication ArtDaily today!

>> BEST OF DAYTON 2018: Dayton Art Institute a BIG winner in its BIGGEST year

Millie Smith —  Dayton The World Capital of Funk — The Ohio Players. Lakeside. Slave. Heatwave. Junie Morrison. Faze-O.Dayton. Sun. Platypus. Roger & Zapp ....... #DaytonStrong 

>> One of Dayton's most popular drag queens opens up about overcoming addiction

Heather Roberts — We are the big city to all the small-town kids, where they come for their first art & theater performance from schools. Where they see their first tall and shiny buildings, independent from their families. The place everyone in the Miami Valley goes to for concerts, culture, and their first night out at 18 & 21.

>> RELATED:  Allison Janney: “Dayton spawns great people” 

The Oregon sign at Pine St. along E. Fifth St. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees

Jill Kelley  —  Many of us have grown up and/or lived on the coast and prefer to live where we can enjoy a great cost of living, few traffic jams, expansive green space, easy access to big cities like Chicago and Nashville when we choose, and wonderful people.

>> Daytonians who’ve made us proud at the big Hollywood award shows

Janea I... — Well for starters, in Dayton you don't need to spend $2.3 million to live in a 4-bedroom, 2-bath house with a garage and a fenced yard in a decent neighborhood. Not only that but we have multiple options for barbecue. MULTIPLE!!

Katlin Meredith   —  I describe Dayton as funky and gritty — in the best sense of those words. No pretension, Midwest nice, tattooed creatives drinking local beer, listening to good live music while someone paints a mural of people's cats nearby. We're the home of funk and we've got grit to get through anything.

Jim Ingram  —   That we’re not Toledo.

>> RELATED:  President Trump, former VP Biden mix up location of Dayton shooting

Carol Bouffioux —  Ah. The coasts. We don’t have an ocean view, but my gosh-we have so much! The Levitt, MetroParks, arts, food (in trucks & restaurants), music all over the dang place, the stars are still visible on clear nights, people dance sometimes in the aisles at Kroger, we wave as we give each other the right of way on a crowded neighborhood street. We turn out by the 1000s when we hurt, by the 1000s to dance & bounce & raise a glass at multiple cultural festivals. We have been nationally recognized as an Immigrant Friendly City. We acknowledge our problems, we speak up, and we try to do better. ❤️

>> Stories of Survival: Dayton gives back to restaurant owner after loss of son, home

Teri Schoch —  Please don't tell them we have so much good water. for drinking and recreation. They may show up and ruin our secret source of joy.

A sign on the Brim building along Fifth Street. The American Planning Association (APA) today named Fifth Street in Dayton, Ohio, in the Oregon District, as one of five Great Streets on the organization’s annual Great Places in America list.  MORE:  Oregon District’s Fifth Street one of ‘Top 5’ in U.S.
Photo: Jim Witmer

Deb Lukjanovs — That no matter what you want to do, whether it's a lecture, a funk concert, an art exhibit, or any number of other pursuits, on any given day of any week, you can find something great to do in Dayton. And usually free or at a low cost. Culturally, for a town Dayton's size, this city is without peer.

>> ‘A funk in the freezer:’ We catch up with Keith Harrison of Faze-O, Dazz Band and Heatwave fame

Rhonda Moore —  We are the "Gem City" We have a great police department.
Other tidbits:
Dayton is the birthplace of famous people including actors Martin Sheen, Chad Lowe, Nancy Cartwright, Jonathan Winters, Gordon Jump, Gary Sandy, Dorian Harewood, Olympian Edwin C. Moses and other athletes including Roger Clemens and Cris Collinsworth. 
The first talk show with audience participation started here with Phil Donahue ( before there was an Oprah).
Heatwave, Zapp, Roger, Ohio Players, Lakeside, Slave and Sun are some of the local bands from here that made it on the national stage.
Oh and I was born and raised here😊

>> MORE: 8 Dayton acts you should give a funk about  

Roberta Kuhn Loman — Great place for all ages and interests.

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