Question: How many t-shirts are on display here?
Q: Why 155?
A: That’s how many citizens of the Greater Washington area were shot to death in 2014 by guns.
Q: What is the point of the display?
A: Each shirt represents a victim: The name of a victim plus the age of each victim and the date of each victim’s death. Each one is a human being, a child of God. Each one deserves to be remembered. Each passing deserves to be noted and mourned.
Q: What is the meaning of the three different colors of the shirts?
A: The colors represent the three jurisdictions located in Greater Washington. The white shirts represent the 75 lives lost in Washington, D.C. The yellow are for the 23 lives lost in Northern Virginia. And the blue shirts memorialize the 57 Maryland gun deaths in 2014.
Q: Why does it look like a cemetery?
A: Unlike a cemetery, this memorial isn’t behind trees and gates where no one can see it. It’s on public view where folks driving, biking, or walking past not only can see it but can be reminded of the violence that happens day in and day out in the Greater Washington area and, yes, throughout the United States.
Q: What are you expecting people to feel when they see the memorial and realize what it is?
A: It depends on each person. Some feel grief at the tremendous loss of life. Some feel sadness for the families and friends who have lost a loved one. Others feel anger at the slaughter that destroys so many lives—or anger at those who allow it to go on without doing anything—or doing enough—about it.
Q: I don’t feel like I can just walk away. What can be done?
A: Many things. There are many causes for violence. Think of ways we can work together on this issue. Tell your friends and neighbors about the Memorial and invite them to come see it. Pray for peace.
Q: What is your group and what does it try to do?
A: We are Heeding God’s Call. We are made up of a wide variety of faith communities that band together to curb illegal gun trafficking through demonstrations at the gun shops where straw purchases happen, through public education and awareness, and through pushing for legislative changes. Heeding God’s Call has chapters in Philadelphia, PA, Chester, PA, Harrisburg, PA, and Greater Washington. We work together as people of faith to lessen the impact of gun violence and to honor the memory of those lost to gun violence through our Memorial to the Lost installations
Q: How can I help?
A: You can join us. You can tell others about us. You can support us and pray for us. You can assist us financially. You can use your own experience and skill set to help us. Please let us know of your interest in getting involved. Use our email address below.
Q: That’s it?
A: Please don’t forget to pray for the 155 lives that have been lost—and for the ones still being lost daily—and for the family and friends mourning every single one of those lost lives. Then, spread the word.
And, take action.
Heeding God’s Call of Greater Washington
P. O. Box 130, West Bowie, MD 20719