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Mothers of children injured or lost to gun violence hold vigil for FedEx victims

The group gathered outside the Olivet Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday afternoon with a shared bond of both pain and purpose.

INDIANAPOLIS — They are mothers who share a common bond of pain, loss and purpose.

On Saturday afternoon, they gathered outside Olivet Missionary Baptist Church to host a prayer vigil for the victims of the FedEx mass shooting.

“I just wanted to bring the community together, bring families together and say, for one, we are here for you,” said DeAndra Dycus, whose son was shot several years ago when he was just 13. “No one should walk this journey alone.”

Dycus founded Purpose 4 My Pain to connect others who have suffered loss or pain because of gun violence.

“My heart just goes out to the moms and the families because, when we see it, we hurt all over again,” she said.

Several other mothers spoke, sharing their own pain. Falisha Walker lost her son, William, in May 2019.

“It’s horrible that eight mothers feel like I feel,” Walker said. “And it’s so horrible of that. You don’t know the pain unless you’re walking in our shoes. We’re constantly going to graveyards, and we’re constantly trying to support each other because that’s all we know.”

Also at the event, there was poetry, songs and prayers.

Volunteers from the American Red Cross were there to offer emotional and mental health support, and representatives from Moms Demand Action attended to share their message.

“Thank you so much to everyone for being here, thanks for allowing us to be a part of this meaningful and moving tribute to lives lost yet lives that move forward,” the speaker said. “We share your vision of hope, and we won’t quit.”

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