GR group sends message with casket: ‘A life is a life’

Grand Rapids
Silver casket open with full length mirror inside

A casket containing a mirror rests along Franklin Street as part of a display calling on Grand Rapids to stop the violence. (Aug. 6, 2019)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The calls for action against gun violence were echoed in West Michigan Monday when a local group sent out a strong message along a Grand Rapids street.

Mothers on a Mission is a group of mothers and other family members who have lost loved ones to violence in Grand Rapids.

Monday, they set up an open casket with a mirror inside, reflecting back the faces of visitors. Pictures of their dead loved ones were posted along Franklin Street to encourage others in the community to stop the violence.

Sandwich board photos of people along street
Photos of loved ones killed by violence are displayed along Franklin Street in Grand Rapids. (Aug. 6, 2019)

They told 24 Hour News 8 the killings happening elsewhere in the country aren’t so different from the violence in West Michigan.

“A life is a life. These inner-city kids is killing each other at an alarming rate. We’re trying to be visible, to let them know we’re gonna stop it,” said Elijah Libbett who helped found Mothers on a Mission.

So far this year, 10 people have been killed in a homicide in Grand Rapids, topping the total number of homicides for all of 2018.

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