Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church Hosts Vigil Against Gun Violence

The photographs of dozens of youthful faces are exhibited in front of Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church.

They are all young lives that have been taken by gun violence in the last year.

“Every year, you see new faces on the pictures, and they are getting younger and younger,” Rev. Bernard Johnson remarked.

Those youngsters were honoured at the church’s Eighth Annual Vigil Against Violence on Sunday night.

“I feel the pain that these parents go through, because I felt it,” she added.

Johnson said he lost his son to gun violence years ago and joined the Lincoln Park church to help the church’s mission to do more to stop gun violence against children.

“It takes vigils like this to draw people in to see what’s really going on.” “However, a lot of individuals aren’t seeing it,” Johnson pointed out.

Rev. Beth Brown, pastor of Lincoln Park Presbyterian and interim commissioner with the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, also attended the ceremony.

“94 youth under the age of 19 have been killed this year.” “There were 77 last year,” Brown added. “When we talk about gun violence decreasing, or at least murders by gun violence, it isn’t for youth under the age of 19.”

The vigil this year included a panel discussion with members of the community commission.

“Chicagoans are starting to realise that you actually have a voice in public safety,” said Community Commission for Public Safety and Transparency President Anthony Driver.

There was also a bigger debate about the role of accountability in public safety.

“Is accountability really going to impact the level of violence in communities in this accountability space?” Is accountability going to make a difference in Chicago violence?” Brown stated.

Brown believes that the dozens who attended will leave with a better understanding of the agony that far too many Chicagoan parents are experiencing, as well as a sense of empowerment to influence change.

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