CNN has featured a friend of mine who is rector of St. Anna’s in New Orleans. Bill and his wife are remarkable people who have come through great struggles of their own, even before Katrina, to serve God in ministry. What adds to the distress is that one would hope that crime would go down as NOLA fights for its survival and rebirth and yet it has gotten worse.
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) — Father Bill Terry of St. Anna’s Episcopal Church in New Orleans wants everyone to know what’s happening in New Orleans: too many murders with too few people held accountable.
Father Bill Terry writes another name on the board, which he started to humanize the victims.
He keeps track of the slayings on what he calls the “murder board,” a plastic board that hangs outside his church. He started listing murder victims earlier this year to humanize the headlines.
At first, the names were neatly typed by a printer. But as the killings continued at a rampant pace, he says, he resorted to adding victims’ names by hand with permanent marker.
“Numbers are very easy to deal with emotionally. When it becomes a human being, then we start to personalize and it’s harder to deal with. I want people to squirm. I want people to feel uncomfortable about the murders going on in the city,” Father Bill told CNN.
In the first 29 days of this month alone, the city witnessed 27 killings, according to the New Orleans Police Department. So far in 2007, police say 137 people have been killed. That puts the city on pace for roughly 200 slayings this year.
Please be sure to read the entire story and remember those lost to violence and those working to bring justice and peace to those who remain behind.