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Fighting violence on Mother’s Day: ‘We’ve got to change the madness’

Fighting violence on Mother’s Day: ‘We’ve got to change the madness’
Tara Malone, Chicago Tribune, May 9, 2010

Maria Ramirez got out of bed Sunday and tried not to think about Mother’s Day.

The Chicago woman, whose only child, Matthew Ramirez, 16, was shot four years ago, instead gathered at St. Sabina Catholic Church with the only people who could understand the anguish of losing a child to gun violence: mothers who had suffered their own loss.Clutching framed pictures and pins of their children, the women asked other mothers to intervene if they see their child get in trouble or tangle with gangs. They urged adults to act before another son or daughter is killed.

“You don’t know what it’s like to wake up and not have your child on Mother’s Day or any other day,” said Ramirez, whose son was shot when walking home from a friend’s house because the gunman mistakenly thought he was in a gang, authorities said. “I don’t even get to hear anyone say ‘mama’ anymore.”

They made the plea during the dedication of a statue in the South Side church that depicts the kind of street violence that killed their children. The wooden sculpture by artist Jerzy Kenar portrays a shooter and his young victim. Each mother laid a note card with their slain child’s name at the base of the statue that will remain in the church’s vestibule. (Read the full article)