A memorial to local residents shot to death in the last five years was reconstructed Sunday on Congregation Ohev Shalom’s front lawn. Less than two months earlier, it stood in front of Chester Eastside Ministries.
The “T-shirt Memorial to the Lost” consists of over 140 T-shirts, each inscribed with a victim’s name, age, and date of death, stretched over forms made out of PVC pipe and rebar. The forms are planted in the ground so that they resemble tombstones.
“It brings home the human cost of gun violence in our midst,” said Fran Stier, an Ohev Shalom congregant and member of the Chester/Delaware County chapter of Heeding God’s Call, a faith-based gun violence prevention group. The movement’s mission is to raise awareness about gun violence.
“Between Jan. 10 and Aug. 11, there have been 35 homicides in Delaware County, 25 due to gun violence. Twenty of those homicides have been in Chester, 19 due to gun violence. Since July 24 alone there have been eight shooting deaths in Delaware County,” states the Delco Times editorial.
“The sea of T-shirts now in front of the synagogue will give motorists and pedestrians along routes 320 and 252 some idea of the toll of gun violence in Delaware County just since 2009. The grim fact of the matter is, at least 18 more T-shirts will have to be added to bring it up-to-date.”