Chicago moms who lost loved ones to gun violence call for peace Mother's Day weekend

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A group of Chicago mothers calling for peace on Mother's Day are asking people to put the guns down while a South Side mom helping others heal from their losses.

Sunday, mothers across the world will be celebrating with their loved ones but for a group of Chicago moms, that is but a luxury.

"Tomorrow is Mother's Day and most of the families that are here have lost a loved one -- a child or a family member from gun violence," said Milagros Burgos.

As they gathered Saturday at Buckingham Fountain, the mothers who suffered unbelievable loss pled with the public to let their losses be the last.

"This is a group that no one wants to be a part of," said Nortasha Stingley.

"We're here to tell you that please, put the guns down," Burgos added.

Last month, Chicago Police reported roughly 250 shootings and nearly 300 shooting victims in the city. Both statistics are up significantly from the year before, according to previous reports.

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For the mothers of those lost to gun violence, these statistics are more than just numbers, they represent loved ones.

"I should be celebrating Mother's Day with my other children and I had to sit here and stop for my son. This right here should not be the norm," said Betsy Rivera.

In the city's Chatham neighborhood, one Chicago mom also brought others together who shared in her loss in an effort to help heal.

"I wanted to bring mothers together to just express themselves in a creative way and have something to make the smile tomorrow," said Syreeta Talbert with the Talbert Memorial Fund.

Talbert lost both her brother Russell and her only child to gun violence.

"My only child Jalen, unfortunately, lost his life in August of 2017, so I turned to candle-making as a way of healing, creative healing and grieving," she said.

Through her memorial fund and organization, Rhee360, she hosted a "Grief, Grace and Gratitude" luncheon to help these mothers find an outlet for their losses, as well as a support group.

"Unfortunately we see too many of the sad part of grieving and so I wanted to bring the happy side, the joy side of grieving because with our lows we also experience highs," Talbert said.

While nothing can replace what has been taken from these mothers, all of them simply wish what happened to them doesn't happen to any other family.
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