A Memorial to the Lost, consisting of 176 T-shirts, one representing each person who died from gun violence in Metropolitan Washington in 2013, was dedicated April 5 at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church here. 

Partnering with the church on this project is Heeding God’s Call, a faith-based group mobilizing congregations of all faiths to stop illegal gun sales and promote laws that deter gun violence.  

The T-shirt memorial will be displayed on the church lawn through Good Friday, April 18, before moving to other churches in the area. 

At the outdoor service of remembrance, the Rev. Molly Blythe Teichert, pastor of the church, urged all people of faith to remember those who died and those whose lives are forever changed through gun violence. 

“We are fortunate that this moving and visible memorial is near the Chevy Chase Circle, the gateway to the city, where many people will see it, and hopefully, be moved to action,” she said.

The purpose of this memorial is to stem the flow of gun violence by vividly raising awareness of its tragic toll.

Dozens of volunteers from Heeding God’s Call and Chevy Chase Presbyterian worked on this project, preparing the T-shirts and constructing the stands. Youth and their mentors from Capital Partners for Education and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America helped erect the display.

Teichert concluded the memorial service by saying, “God calls us to bring peace where there is violence.  We proclaim God’s NO to the prevalence of gun violence in our nation. We look to the day when lives are not cut short and families no longer mourn the senseless killing of loved ones. By God’s grace the legacy of those we remember today will be the realization of a more peaceful society.”

For more information and resources from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) about gun violence, click here.

The Rev. Jane Duffield is interim associate pastor at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church.