Hundreds march to honor victims, call for end to gun violence in Germantown

GERMANTOWN (WPVI) -- As many as 300 people carrying T-shirts with the names of those killed in gun violence marched the streets of Germantown Friday in somber memorial.

They sang to a Zulu word, Senzenina, meaning "What have we done?"

They marched to a number of sights where people were killed.

Among those in attendance was Movita Johnson Harrell whose 18-year-old son, Charles Johnson, was shot and killed by two boys in a case of mistaken identity.

"We ask God to stop this devastation in our communities," said Johnson, victim's mother.

Marretta Cox didn't even know about the march until she rode by and noticed a T-shirt with her stepson's name, 24-year-old John Cox, who was killed in gun violence almost a year ago today on March 27.

"I just pray they get all the killers off the street," said Cox, victim's stepmother. "Stop the violence."

This is the eighth year of what is known as the Stations of the Cross Gun Violence Prevention Walk sponsored by a number of faith organizations and churches.

And each year it seems the T-shirt memorial to the lost grows in numbers as more names are added.

Naturally, we often hear of gun violence on the streets of Philadelphia as one person shot and killed at one place, and another shot somewhere else. But it was chilling to hear all those victims' names at once.

And it was symbolic, in fact, intentional they were holding the walk on Good Friday.

"The symbol of the cross is a symbol of execution at the hands of the state, and we really see the victims of gun violence as really being victims of a lack of policy around gun control," said the Rev. Amy Yoder McGloughlin, Germantown Mennonite Church.

Overall, organizers are hoping and praying for an end to the senseless violence that seems to have no end.

"I ask that you all look at the names on your shirt, and these are all lives that matter," said the Rev. Dr. Katie Day, The Lutheran Theological Seminary.

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