Vigil held in East St. Louis for victims of violent crime

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EAST ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - As Cardinals' fans watched the game at Busch Stadium Monday, just a few miles away a crowd gathered for a much more somber event.  In East St. Louis they were remembering the residents who were victims of violent crime.

This is National Crime Victims' Rights Week.  In East St. Louis they gathered to offer support for their relatives.  The Coalition Against Violence brought family members together in the city hall rotunda with a message of building trust and restoring hope.

"Even though, I've never lost anyone to violence I know people who have and we always work together as community to try to bring an end to the violence," said event organizer Sylvia Harrell.

This was actually the 22nd annual Crime Victims' Candlelight Vigil.  It began after family members came forward saying they didn't have anywhere to go to express their grief and look for ways to end the violence.

“I had a grandson that got killed last year by a 6-year-old and a son and I have a son who got killed this year before Christmas, " said Barbara Davis.

The Community Coalition Against Violence also offers grief counseling and other services for the loved ones of murder victims.  The hope is with these vigils can bring more awareness to the problem of violent crime.

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