The New Orleans church community is heartbroken. 2 year old Jeremy Galmon is just one of many innocent lives lost to violence in the city. This week, some New Orleans religious leaders are making sure these victims are not forgotten.
The Reverend Bill Terry doesn’t look forward to this. For the past 4 years now, he writes the names of New Orleans murder victims on the side of his church, St. Anna’s Episcopal. Today, he writes an elderly woman’s name and a 2-year-old’s name.
“Everyone should grieve when an 88 year old woman is murdered. Everyone should grieve when a 2 year old is murdered but equally we’ve got to start pressing ourselves about: why did the 19 year-old end up dead? We’ve killed off a whole generation in 3 years here,” Terry said.
Terry hopes the names of murder victims on the wall is a powerful reminder to people about the value of life, and he hopes with the response to the death of those very old, or very young like Jeremy Galmon, perhaps more people will get involved.
“When I see the silent people become engaged, I think we will start to see fundamental change in the violence in our city,” Terry said.
And one pastor who’s been ministering to the Galmon family says he would like grandmothers in New Orleans to rise up and take a stance in their families.
“There was a time in the city of New Orleans when grandmothers spoke, everyone stopped and listened. And we need the collective voices I think, I believe of grandmothers, once again to raise their voices,” said the Reverend Willie Gable of Progressive Baptist Church in Central City.
Gable has been working with Jeremy Galmon’s grandmother, helping her cope with the grief.