Mothers spend day in protest against violence

May 10, 2009 3:43:45 PM PDT
On this Mother's Day, some Chicago area mothers who have lost their children to violence gathered at an American flag flying upside down with a message of outrage.They are calling for action to stop the killing of Chicago's children. However, using the flag and a traditional symbol of distress is also drawing criticism from veterans.

"We can't eat. We can't sleep. We're angry. We're sad. We don't understand our purpose for life. Our children were our purpose for life," mother Pam Bosley said.

Like Bosley -- whose son Terrell was gunned down, mother Jo Wabley became a part of this sisterhood of grief last year after her son was murdered in a drive-by shooting.

"My son's name was John Wabley. He was shot in the head. It will be a year next week. He was killed near 47th Street and Vincennes at 9:45 in the morning. It's just senseless," Wabley said.

Sunday, the mothers stood in solidarity for all the children lost. Their names were read aloud, and their mothers wear red ribbons to represent their children's bloodshed as they shared stories of sorrow under a flagpole at St. Sabina church where Pastor Michael Pfleger continues to fly flags upside down as a symbol of distress. Pfleger was an organizer of the protest.

The mother of slain Chicago teen Blair Holt says on this second anniversary of his death, the city's children are still at risk.

"Just like vets who go to war, our children are casualties, and we suffer from post- traumatic stress syndrome, as well," Annette Nance said.

But while most understand the outrage over the gun violence, some veterans service organizations still don't agree with the use of the flag.

"There are a lot of ...they will never get their people back. They fight for the right to fly the flag. Don't do this, this way. It isn't right," said Steve Pletzke of Rolling Thunder Illinois Chapter 1.

In the meantime, the parents continue their pleas for peace.

"Try to put yourself in our shoes and be a little more outraged. Help us fight the guns. Please," mother Maria Rivera said.


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