Community unites during 'Take a Stand' rally - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Community unites during 'Take a Stand' rally

Each hearse displayed the names of victims who lost their lives to violence, embossed on the windows.  (Source: WALB) Each hearse displayed the names of victims who lost their lives to violence, embossed on the windows.  (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
Cassenda Nelson (Source: WALB) Cassenda Nelson (Source: WALB)
Luke Strong & Son Funeral Home Associate William Scallers Jr. (Source; WALB) Luke Strong & Son Funeral Home Associate William Scallers Jr. (Source; WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The community reeled over the tragic 21 homicides in Albany so far this year.

On Thursday afternoon, community leaders made a bold statement to try to stop the senseless killings.

Albany-Dougherty city and community leaders and law enforcement agencies led a symbolic funeral procession to raise awareness on the rash of homicides. 

Each hearse displayed the names of victims who lost their lives to violence, embossed on the windows. 

"There it is right there...yeah Travion Jones," a resident remarked while pointing out his relative's hearse. 

A harsh reality for their loved ones who are left to carry the pain. 

"I could feel the pain in so many of the families," said Cassenda Nelson.

It's a heartache Nelson knows all too well having lost her own mother and aunt to domestic violence.

"Reality sets in more and more daily, just to see her and my aunt's name just hurts me so bad," explained Nelson. 

But the 'Take a Stand' rally gave her hope.

"Even though it happened in August, the city is still recognizing us and recognizing the pain that we feel," said Nelson. 

"It gave cause to remember that at one time that one day that that person was in that hearse," explained Luke Strong & Son Funeral Home Associate William Scallers Jr. 

While driving Angela Boggs hearse, Scallers was shocked by the crowd of residents who lined the streets.

"Most people you see come out for a homecoming parade but they came out for a cause," said Scallers. 

The rally was a cause calling for unity, love, and peace.

"Trouble has an unusual way of bringing people together," said Scallers. 

"It made me feel hopeful that we can get control over this violence that's going on in the community," added Nelson. 

'Take a Stand' rally organizer Michael Fowler said love is the first step in bringing peace to the community.

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