Church lawn displays hundreds of crosses honoring victims of St. Louis area homicides

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HANLEY HILLS, MO - Hundreds of crosses marking each St. Louis area murder were placed in the front lawn of the Mount Beulah Missionary Baptism Church in Hanley Hills on Saturday.

Through the sound of prayer and worship, the church memorialized the lives of each victim killed by violence in St. Louis.

Organizers said that the 236 crosses placed on Page Avenue represent the total number of homicides within the city and the county this year.

They said it’s symbolic if not a visible statement that a life taken by violence is not to be forgotten.

Stephanie Ceaser has been placing a cross on the church’s lawn for the past two years.  She said that her 30-year-old son Martez Ceaser was gunned down in 2016 while sitting as a passenger in someone else’s car.

Saturday, Ceaser and her grandson Martez Ceaser Jr. hammered in yet another cross in his honor.

“It was very emotional and very hard when you have to bury a loved one,” Ceaser said, “and he was my first-born child so it’s very hard. I’m dealing with it every day.”

Those in attendance including Pastor E.G. Shields Sr. continue to voice and recognize what they believe is the pain and heartache that is indescribable.

“Enough is enough,” Shields said, “we’ve had too much and too many murders and we need to stop.”

The pastor said the crosses will remain on display for the next 30 days.

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