Connecticut Episcopal Churches to Honor Victims of Gun Violence with Traveling Memorial – NBC Connecticut


Saint James Episcopal Church in West Hartford is now the site of a unique memorial.

Rows of white t-shirts are displayed on the lawn, representing a life lost in Connecticut to gun violence.

“Especially sons, fathers, mothers, grandmothers. They are people and they were loved, they are loved. And we miss them,” Reverend Bob Hooper said.

Hooper was not alone in this effort – children from Camp Washington in Lakeside joined them, neatly imprinting the names, ages and dates of death of more than 40 victims on each shirt. One was only in high school. Another was an elderly woman.

“We were thinking about projects we could do with the youth to make them feel like they were having an impact,” said Cameron Taylor, director and program manager of Camp Washington.

“I think the thing that struck me the most was that we were writing the names on the shirts. One of the young people looked at the date one of the people died and remembered what they did that day. It was amazing for them to think that someone somewhere lost their life because of gun violence,” Taylor said.

Eight women and 33 men make up the powerful display for a total of 41 people killed in the state by gun violence. That doesn’t count children, accidental gunshots, or deaths by suicide.

“These were all put together by middle school kids. And it was really interesting the six kids that did it. This experience, that they had a kind of…power. They had a kind of advocacy and d ‘opportunities in there,’ Hooper said.

Together they used the National Gun Violence Memoriala database that tells the victim’s story.

A 48-year-old former defense attorney attended the scene on Thursday.

“It also struck me that the newest t-shirt was in honor of someone who died three weeks ago,” said Margaret Levy of West Hartford.

This jersey pays tribute to Marisol Dumeng, 30, who was killed in Bridgeport on May 28.

The memorial will be updated monthly. Tragically, five more shirts will be added to honor those who lost their lives in June.

After two weeks, the memorial will be transferred to other Episcopal churches in the state so that other communities can participate in the commemoration of the men and women whose lives were too short.

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