Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Forgotten Four - forgotten no more...

In the year 2000, Wichita experienced two unspeakable horrors within a matter of days. Two quadruple homicides on opposite sides of town; both senseless, both equally tragic. But the first of these savage attacks, the murders of Jermaine Levy, Dessa Laquita Ford, Quincy Williams, and Raeshawndra Wheaton (all aged 17), passed quickly from the media spotlight. The latter case, which came to be known as the Wichita Massacre, garnered national media attention. The former seemed all but forgotten, victims of our desensitized acquiescence to violence...

Two of these children, Quincy Williams and Dessa Ford, spent 10 years in unmarked graves. The family struggled to try and raise the funds needed to purchase headstones but had repeatedly fallen short. A cousin of Quincy and Dessa, Ms. Candace Reed, worked tirelessly to ensure that these children were remembered, and that we as a community would wake up to recognize the horrors and atrocities taking place on our streets, and that we would be inspired to act.

On June 26th, immediately following the "Restoring our Community" March, we held a community meeting in Tabernacle Bible Church. At that meeting, we asked the members of the community, to reach into their pockets and provide the $3,000 needed to purchase and place these headstones. Several people offered cash right on the spot and many more offered pledges until we'd finally reached the desired amount.

And now, the pledges have all been received, the bills have been payed in full, and it is my honor and pleasure to report to you that as of this morning, the headstones have been placed on the graves... The Forgotten Four are forgotten no more...

Ms. Reed went on to host a play that she wrote and produced about the tragedy that befell these children at St. Mark United Methodist Church. The play was well attended and Ms. Reed inspired us all, not only with her tenacity in keeping their memory alive, but also in her willingness to come forward with her personal testimony about violence and loss, and her heartfelt call to the community to make a change. Additional monies were raised that evening and in keeping with the vision of Ms. Reed, those monies will be used to establish a community trust fund for the families of the victims of violence, to ensure that no more families have to endure the tragedy of loss compounded by an inability to pay for proper services.

God id good...

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INTJ - "Mastermind". Introverted intellectual with a preference for finding certainty. A builder of systems and the applier of theoretical models. 2.1% of total population.
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