A memorial for victims of gun violence in Connecticut is on display at St. James’s Episcopal Church, 1019 Farmington Ave. in West Hartford.
By Ronni Newton
In the first five months of 2022, 41 people have died in Connecticut as a result of gun violence, and a striking tribute to those lives lost is currently on display on the lawn of St. James’s Episcopal Church on Farmington Avenue in West Hartford.
“The Memorial of the Lost will be on display at St. James’s for two weeks, then, it will move on to other Episcopal churches around the state,” said the Rev. Bob Hooper rector of St. James’s. “Our hope is to raise awareness of all those who are affected by gun violence across our state.”
The memorial currently includes 41 t-shirts planted in the ground, each bearing the name, date of death, and the age of those who lost their lives due to gun violence. The memorial does not include anyone who committed suicide or was an accidental gunshot victim.
“As a person of faith I try to come at most situations from a place of hope but in the case of gun violence that is becoming harder and harder,” Hooper said. “Here in Connecticut we are have two senators who take this problem seriously, but until more people in power do, this is a grim reality that we will be living with. For now what we can do is bear witness to this reality.”
If – or when – there are additional victims, the memorial will be updated, on a monthly basis, Hooper said.
T-shirt memorials have been used in other towns and states as tributes to those who died due to gun violence, including 102 t-shirts that formed a memorial on display this spring in Harrisburg, PA.
According to the independent research group Gun Violence Archive, which collects and validates data from more than 7,500 law enforcement, media, and other sources, as of June 21, 2022, there have been 9,291 gun violence deaths in the United States since the beginning of 2022, not including suicides.
The traveling Memorial of the Lost was created by and is a project of Camp Washington, the official camp and conference center of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, located in Lakeside, CT.
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