Memorial Day Weekend

Faith Leaders Plead for Peace, Denounce Violence as Memorial Day Weekend Begins

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Chicago's faith community took a stand against gun violence Saturday as several congregations marched downtown Chicago and gathered in Millennium Park, offering a united front against the ongoing epidemic.

Members of many churches marched along Michigan Avenue, doing what they can to help city leaders and police fight one of the city's most pressing problems.

"I am heartbroken, and that’s why I’m here because I’m a native Chicagoan, I love this city," said Pastor Michael Eaddy of the People's Church of the Harvest.

Gun violence is a complicated issue for Chicago, and one faith leaders say cannot be solved alone.

"We need the city, we need the police, we need the faith community, we need the faith community, we need the schools involved," said Michael Allen, co-founder of Together Chicago.

Participants say the event is not just about stopping gun violence and pushing for safety, but encouraging unity and getting people involved from all across the city. 

"We gotta work together to put out this fire, because that’s what is needed," Allen stated. "Gun violence is like a fire that is spreading across the our city, across our nation, and we need everyone involved to put out this fire of gun violence, it’s crazy."

The city of Chicago unveiled a safety plan ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, which included beefing up the number of police officers downtown, on CTA trains and in neighborhoods, as well as changing the citywide curfew for minors from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Regardless of one's neighborhood, religion or race, faith leaders are calling people to come together and save lives.

"We believe our presence here is going to make an impact," Eaddy said.

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