Memorial held for those lost to city's violence

September 28, 2013 (CHICAGO)

It was a chance for families to share stories, comfort each other and hope that others never experience the pain they've been through.

A moment of reflection for hundreds of families who lost a loved one to violence, like Ericka McKinney, who lost her teenage brother D.J. to gun violence while he was at a back-to-school party.

"At that moment, everything in our lives was changed," she said.

For Cynthia Humphrey's family, this memorial is a reminder that the violence in Chicago is still overwhelming.

"She always calls me like clockwork, every night," Mary Dodd said. "That night she didn't call me and I knew something was wrong. My son was at my house, I asked him to let's go see. We got over there; she was laying there with blood running down. The next day the young lady who did it turned herself in."

Humphrey's only son Terry still grieves every day.

"She was my very first best friend," he said.

This is the 24th year for the victim memorial Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez says remembering what happened to these victims is very important.

"We stand with you we will never forget, we understand each and every life has a value beyond measure and the pain of just one violent death, is too much to bare," Alvarez said.

And as the spotlight on the city's violence comes from across the country, these families chose to raise their candles and hope for justice, and an end to the violence.

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