Minnesotans who have lost loved ones to gun violence will gather this weekend for the third annual Remembrance of Life. Among those in attendance will be Mary Johnson, whose only son was murdered in 1993 and she later went on to form the group From Death to Life.
“A lot of times the women that I work with, a lot of times we talk – how our children aren’t remembered, even within our families,” she says. “So, I just think that it’s a very important time that we remember our children, and that people don’t forget our children.”
Johnson says the Remembrance of Life ceremony brings together people who have lost loved ones and those who haven’t, but stand in solidarity, across cultural, racial, faith and geographic divides to honor the value of life. It will be held Sunday afternoon at the Church of the Ascension in north Minneapolis. North Minneapolis is most often connected with the issue of gun violence in Minnesota, but Johnson says it can and does occur statewide – and better safeguards need to be in place.
“We’re going to have to, I believe, change some of our gun laws,” she stresses. “We’re going to have to get weapons out of the hands of young people, the hands of the mentally ill – people that should not have weapons.”
According to averages from the state Department of Health, every day in Minnesota, one person is injured and another killed by a firearm.