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Station Ink held to remember victims by displaying body art

February 18, 2013

An exhibit this weekend at the Pawtucket Armory featured photographs of family and friends of victims of the Station fire, as well as survivors, who agreed to have the tattoos they commissioned to remember loved ones. Jessica Boisclair. Kent County Daily Times.

PAWTUCKET-- More than 80 photographs displaying memorial tattoos hung from the ceiling of the Pawtucket Armory this weekend as a way to commemorate the victims, survivors and those affected by the Station Nightclub fire.

Station Ink was held Friday night and Saturday and Sunday afternoon and crowds of people walked the exhibit quietly reading the names of the 60 people photographed and their stories.

Paper butterflies hung from the ceiling each displaying a name of the 100 people who perished the night of Feb. 20, 2003.

Up the middle of the room, 100 paper lanterns lined the floor creating a peaceful atmosphere.

Paula McLaughlin, creator of Station Ink, lost both her brother Mike and sister-in-law Sandy in the tragic fire.

She said she decided to put this event together because the love her brother had for tattoos.

“The night of the fire, my brother was at the tattoo parlor,” she said. “He was getting a tattoo for his birthday and Jack Russell [from Great White] came in and invited them to the show; four of them were killed that night. It’s always been about the tattoos.”

She explained that days after the fire, many of Mike and Sandy’s friends went and got tattoos in memory of them.

“Just being there and watching them get the tattoos and watching the surroundings, it was so powerful,” she said.

McLaughlin said she decided to get a tattoo as well; a cross with two butterflies displaying the names of Mike and Sandy. She also got another tattoo two years ago, which is a sacred heart.

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