Listen: Michael Ault, Executive Director of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership talks about the dedication of the plaza formally known as Saint Rose of Lima Park at 7th and K streets in downtown Sacramento as Ali Youssefi Square.
In a statement, the Youssefi family shared their praise for the dedication and new monument: “We appreciate this gesture from the city, Downtown Sacramento Partnership and all the partners who worked on this dedication to commemorate Ali’s impact. There are few people who loved Sacramento and contributed to its spark more than Ali. It’s an honor to have a common space named after him, to have his name on signs for people to see, and to have his name spoken for years to come.As his family, we know how exceptional he is and to have it reflected back to us with this gesture is truly something special.”
A phrase atop the monument reads “our brightest star” followed by a star-like arrow, gesturing upward toward the sky . Each round light on the monument symbolizes a length of time: one month of Youssefi’s life. Each row of lights represents one year.
Collectively, the lights on the monument symbolize Youssefi’s lifetime. The lights are programmed in sequences and configurations that celebrate his favorite constellations and colors. Alongside history of the park, a biography authored by Ali’s family rests on the monument with a quote selected by his wife, Azzie, from Neilde Grass Tyson, that reads: “Stars in the universe that burn the brightest, live shorter lives than others. And with their high-energy light, they transform all that basks in their luminosity.”