ELKHART — A local group working for an end to violence in Elkhart gathered Sunday for a march and rally downtown.
The Elkhart Advocates for Peace and Justice held its fourth annual Palm Sunday Peace Parade to remember victims of violent crime in the city and pray for peace on Sunday, April 13.
The group of more than 50 people walked 2.5 miles from Hively Avenue Mennonite Church, 800 E. Hively Ave., to Civic Plaza in downtown Elkhart, stopping briefly at Prairie Street Mennonite Church to pick up more marchers carrying signs and waving palm branches.
At Civic Plaza, they joined in song and prayer for peace in the city.
"Elkhart has felt the sting of violence and division," said Megan Erwin, a member of Elkhart Advocates for Peace and Justice. "Walking today is a good first step to a new beginning."
Angela and Adrian Tanner, mother and uncle of homicide victim Devonte Patrick, read the names of Elkhart's homicide victims from 2009 to the present. After each name, the gathered marchers said "present" as a reminder that the dead are still present and not forgotten.
Brian Weibe, executive director of the Horizon Education Alliance, addressed the group.
Weibe highlighted the group's diverse age range and various ethnicities as an example of how different people can come together for peace.
"I believe peace has been made," Weibe said. "Peace has been found right here."