BRUNSWICK, Ga. (WTOC) - The 2:23 Foundation, which started to bring awareness to the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, is hosted a memorial walk Tuesday night. It started at the entrance of the Satilla Shores neighborhood.
The neighborhood is not too far from where Arbery lived with his mother. His family says he would frequently jog in this area for exercise.
The 2:23 Foundation’s Executive Assistant Samantha Gilder says they will walk the neighborhood in its entirety, and end at the scene of Arbery’s death for a candlelight vigil.
Gilder says they’ll finish the run Arbery set out to take and leave the neighborhood for him.
“I think our community just needs moments of healing and moments of unity. All of this happened in the middle of a pandemic, so trying to like feel united and connected in the time where we’re like supposed to not be any of those things — it just seems like this is a really nice way that the whole community can come together for the same thing,” said Gilder.
Hundreds of people participated in the walk. People held candles as the family spoke about that tragic day.
“Our whole thing here is to finish the run that Ahmaud set out to take on February 23, 2020. He was not able to leave this neighborhood. We will and we will do that for him,” said Gilder.
“Ain’t nothing can bring him back. He’s dead. He’s in the ground and that hurts every day,” said Ahmaud’s father, Marcus Arbery.
It was an emotional day as family members and people from the community gathered to trace Arbery’s footsteps and complete that run he started on February 23, 2020.
“The Lord knows without y’all I don’t know what we would do. With this support, the love. When I pulled in, I started to turn around, but to see all y’all standing out here we can’t give up,” said Ahmaud’s aunt, Ruby Arbery.
Members of The 2:23 Foundation say they’ve spent the last year advocating to bring about a change so that other young men and women would be saved from encounters like what took Arbery’s life. They say the memorial walk is a moment of healing and unity.
“Justice for Ahmaud!”
People of all ages and races walked to Holmes Road as neighbors watched them go by. The group stopped at the scene for a candlelight vigil.
“We are going to be a light to this community. Maud can no longer give us that smile, he can no long give us that laughter. So we are going to carry the light for Maud,” said a 2:23 Foundation member.
Arbery’s aunts, cousins and his father expressed the hurt they’ve felt every day since and asked everyone to continue to stand with them, pray for them and run with them as they allow justice to be served.
“My boy been shot three times. Two times in the chest and one time in the arm and you mean to tell me that ain’t hate? I don’t want to see these people walk the streets ever again. Ever. Because my boy ain’t going to walk the streets no more,” said Marcus Arbery.
Organizers say they wanted to finish the walk by leaving the neighborhood because Arbery never got that chance.