PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Emotions ran high Sunday in Pittsburgh’s Hill District during a memorial for hundreds of victims of gun violence.
The Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network set up 500 crosses on an empty lawn along Centre Avenue in remembrance of all the victims of violence in Allegheny County over the past decade.
Some of the names were familiar, like Jeron Grayson who was a popular college student killed on Cal U’s campus while he was home for a visit, and there were others not as recognizable.
But what they all have in common is that they are victims, homicide victims, and the loved ones left behind want to try and keep someone else from going through the pain they have had to endure over the years.
“These crosses represent our young boys and girls, mostly those who look like you and me who did not survive,” said Rev. Glenn Grayson, Jeron’s father. “Parents like me who got a call in the wee hours of the morning that your child has been shot.”
It doesn’t seem to matter if that call came last week, last month or last year – the pain and the loss is still great.
That’s why PIIN put out the crosses as a reminder to the entire community that the cycle of violence devastates everyone. The pain doesn’t end.
“These young men and young girls represent more than what I’m seeing here today, more than a candle in a cup and a picture on a tee-shirt,” said Rev. Grayson.
Group members say they are not going to let the community forget those lost.
“You need to march on Chauncey Drive, and say, ‘no, you’re not going to take another life here. We’re not going to let you,” added one group member.