By Shawntell Muhammad, Contributing Writer
CHICAGO— Never Forget Chicago founder Maxwell Emcays gathered at least 500 families at the Daley Center in downtown Chicago to remember and honour more than 2,000 victims of violence. At the Dec. 3 event, all 500 families received sweatshirts with their loved ones’ names and pictures on the front.
Until January 1, a brightly lit tree with personalised snowflakes for each victim will stand in front of the Daley Center. According to organisers, just as no two snowflakes are alike, every life is different and unique and should be cherished and respected. “So many families fall through the cracks and are forgotten, and continue to mourn and hurt in silence. “There is unity, healing, and, most importantly, change through remembrance,” Emcays said.
At the time of publication, the total number of murders in the city of Chicago for the year 2022 was reported to be 643. Further data compilation for all crimes in Chicago can be found under the statistics and data tab on chicagopolice.org
Sheena Stone said, “This is a sisterhood, a family bond, that no one really wishes to be a part of. I’m grieving the loss of my then 25-year-old son Anthony Jackson, who was killed on September 19, 2021. Therefore, it’s always beneficial to be around others who have had similar experiences.
Anything I can do to remember him, even though he will always be in my heart and his spirit is with me every day, I will do. I’m going to show my love and support to other mothers and families who are going through the same thing I am.”
Others expressed gratitude for an event that brought everyone together.
“On August 31, 2013, my son, Robert Gonzales, was murdered. I am extremely grateful for this occasion. It’s been especially difficult during the holidays, and not everyone remembers our deceased loved ones. “My son was only 21 years old,” said Delores Gonzales.
Rickia Fountain was only nine years old when her brother Demetrius Hardy died on April 8, 2020, at the age of fifteen. “He was a significant figure in my life; he was always willing to assist me with my homework,” she explained. “I miss him terribly.”
Shawntell Muhammad can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org