WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The City of Warren has had its share of murders and tragedies. Wednesday night, a group of community members honored those lives lost by holding a vigil to say they want an end to the crime.
“May we be uplifted by the sense of community and love that we feel from one another,” Pastor Todd Johnson said.
They held hands, coming together in prayer.
“We can join hands and try to make it better out here instead of always having to result to violence, and guns and people losing their lives,” organizer Yolanda Adair said.
She’s no stranger to the pain and grief that comes from losing a family member to murder. Her brother, a Warren native, was shot and killed in 2014 while living in Tennessee.
“He had 11 siblings to live for and he was our oldest brother,” Adair said. “He taught us a lot and his murder — senseless, for nothing. That really affected us and it still hurts me ’til today.”
Now Adair is using her personal tragedy to help create change in the community so other families don’t have to go through the same thing.
“It don’t help the community, it don’t help us. It hurts us and divides us even more when we should try to come together to stop the violence, and stop the tragedies and the senseless deaths,” she said.
With special messages written to their loved ones, the crowd released balloons into the sky — a sign of hope and positivity flying high over the city.