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Community gathers to remember young lives lost to violence in KC

'I wish I could save every child in America'
Posted at 10:54 PM, Feb 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-26 23:54:56-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sharing stories, prayers and pain, a community tired of violence affecting kids in Kansas City met outside of Swope Park Saturday.

People like Denise McCraney are saddened by the number of young lives lost to gun violence, a tragedy she knows all too well.

“So I have a 9-year-old great-grandson, his father and him was driving home after a family activity, of a skating party, and they drove through a shootout and he got hit," McCraney said. "My oldest son, after coming home from work, just an hour at his home sitting on the front porch with his family, they have a shootout in the block. He just had moved there, and he got his children in the door but he got hit and killed.”

Others like Nyasia James spoke from the heart describing the fear and hurt that follows after losing a loved one.

"My cousin got killed at 17. I also had a close friend that got killed at 15,” James said. “It’s terrifying. It’s terrifying when you turn on the news, you scroll on social media and it’s always something. It's heartbreaking.”

The small group agreed on a larger message of compassion.

“We want to start showing our neighbors that we love you, and be there one for another without criticism,” McCraney said.

Like those in attendance, Bishop John Birmingham with Harvest Connection International Ministries agrees he has seen enough, especially in the past few weeks.

“I wish I could save every child in America, but I can't," Birmingham said. "I wish I could stop all the homicides, but I can’t do that.”

While honoring the kids already lost, the group hopes to put forth a solution that will save lives in the future.

“Let's not just talk about that change, but come out here and build change. If you could save a young life, save a life period, then guess what, you're living is not in vain and it's been worthwhile,” Birmingham said.