NEW ORLEANS- Overlooking Bayou St. John with balloons nearby and portraits of their loved ones side by side, family members were in mourning -- each person missing a family member.
"There's a lot of hurting families in the city of New Orleans," Kenisha Martin said.
Martin's daughter Kaylan Ward would have celebrated her 18th birthday Tuesday. But instead, Martin is spending her night's grieving.
Members of Silence is Violence, along with law enforcement and community advocates honored murder victims as part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week. There is no shortage of crime in New Orleans. So far in New Orleans this year, 197 people have been shot, 47 killed.
The numbers in just April are startling. 17 people have been shot in the first 6 days. On average, that is one person hit by a bullet every 7 and a half hours.
"Stop it! Cause really nobody wins," Valerie Jean Marie said.
It's been 6 years since Marie lost her son.
"He was shot over 6 times over a bike. A neighborhood bike. He stood over my baby and pumped these bullets in my baby. I wish they could put their guns down. And let it go," Marie said.
At the end of the program, Marie, Martin gathered near the water. With their loved ones in their hearts, they released balloons to the sky, hoping the people they miss so much, are looking back down.
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