NEW ORLEANS - For the first time since the Mother's Day shooting, hundreds gathered in New Orleans for a second line on Sunday as a sign of New Orleans' resilience in a time of tragedy.
The brass bands played, the Divine Ladies danced, and hundreds of people danced along.
But this wasn’t just any second line. This one, held by the Divine Ladies Social Aid and Pleasure Club, was dedicated to the 20 victims of the shooting at a second line on May 12.
“This is our culture, and we're trying to say, be your brother’s keeper. Be your sister’s keeper. If you know these young people are out here, doing wrong, stop,” said Angelina Sever, president of the Divine Ladies.
It's a sign that, despite last weekend's unthinkable violence, New Orleans' deep rooted traditions will continue. Hundreds came out to support.
“I'm always emotional about the second line, so this week is real special because of what happened last week,” said Margaret Walker, who frequently attends second lines.
“What these guys did was attack our tourist industry and our way of life in New Orleans and we're here to represent that we won't be shut down that easily,” said Albert Haywood, a member of the Family Ties Social Aid and Pleasure Cub.
To Be Continued Brass Band played in today's second line, even after their instruments were trampled in last weekend's shooting. They had to borrow some instruments and put duct tape on others.
“We're trying to show the people that we could still move on from that incident. You can't hold back. you can't just let it get to you you got to keep on rolling,” said Chris Terro, a percussionist for To Be Continued.
And as they parade dthrough the streets, the Divine Ladies said the message of their annual second line is to stop the violence, and keep the second line culture alive.
“We want them to know that life is about living and having a wonderful time, not killing one another,” said Jean Armstrong, member of the Divine Ladies. “We want everyone to love each other.”
Today's second line was dedicated especially to Deborah Cotton.
The Gambit reporter has been a champion for New Orleans culture and chronicled second lines and brass bands.
She remains hospitalized after the shooting.
Tipitina’s will hold a musical benefit Thursday for the victims of the Mother’s Day shooting. Doors open at 7 p.m.