Presbyterian Church hosts Memorial to the Lost

by Julia King
Posted 11/18/21

The 200 t-shirts that line the grass in front of the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill each represent a Philadelphian lost to gun violence in the year 2020.

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Presbyterian Church hosts Memorial to the Lost

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The 200 t-shirts that line the grass in front of the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill each represent a Philadelphian lost to gun violence in the year 2020.

Called “The Memorial to the Lost,” the installation is a partnership between the church and the faith-based activist group and non-profit Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence. Its aim is to show communities the harm that illegal firearms cause every year.

The shirts that now sit in Chestnut Hill are just a portion of the 447 total shirts now installed across Philadelphia. They were installed on Oct. 30, and will move to different locations across Philadelphia until January, when the memorials will be updated to gun violence deaths in 2021.

Since its first memorial in 2013, Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence has put up yearly memorials like this across Pennsylvania, even extending to New Jersey and Washington D.C.

“It’s very inspiring work,” said Heeding founder Bryan Miller, who has been working with volunteers and participating church members to make it happen. “People who see it, who drive by it, will get out of their cars and will contact us and say we’d like it for our church.”

Church pastor John Wilkinson said this is the third time the church has partnered with Miller.

“It’s part of our long time commitment to reducing gun violence,” Wilkinson said. “This offers a stark visual reminder of the actual cost of it. As people of faith, remembering the dead is what we do, whether we knew them or not and regardless of whatever ways they lived.”

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