Savannah dads gather on Father’s Day to remember lost children, call for end to gun violence

Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 10:43 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Father’s Day is a time dads celebrate with their families. But for many fathers in our community, it’s a day that reminds them of who they’ve lost.

Fathers whose children were killed by gun violence in Savannah joined forces with city leaders to share how it has affected their lives. These fathers and their families are asking parents and members of the community to be present in the children’s lives and to do something if they see something.

“You can look at us and see the pain that we are going through. Your see the hurt and pain that we are going through from the lost of our sons,” said Leroy Williams, who lost his son to gun violence.

It’s a horror many families in Savannah know all too well.

“To see your child roll out of the grave in front of you, it’s awful. And when she told me, Mr. Curtis, he was shot two times in the back of the head,” said Walter Curtis, who lost his son to gun violence.

And it’s a plea heard too often.

“The violence has to stop because I can’t see no more kings or queens dying in these streets. Enough is enough,” said Elijah West, of Bull Horn Crew.

In the wake of last week’s mass shooting, fathers, brothers and friends of those who tragically lost their lives to gun violence are calling on the community to end it.

“Black bodies, white bodies, Hispanic bodies and do something in the City of Savannah. Put the guns down,” said Tabatha Crawford-Roberts.

“Bullets don’t have a color. Bullets don’t have a name but what we have to do is meet those bullets before they’re discharged from those weapons. Advocate, encourage and be transparent,” said Savannah Alderman Detric Leggett, District 2.

City leaders, alongside fathers in our community, believe it can happen.

“If we stopped thinking about districts and eastside and westside or southside or whatever it is and we think about it as one neighborhood, how long would you let this go on if it happened in your neighborhood?” said Savannah Alderman Nick Palumbo, District 4.

They say it starts with all of us.

“As far as I’m concerned, you’re all our children. And if we can help you to avoid this, because this is not the plan for your life, this is not the will for your life,” said Savannah Mayor Van Johnson.

The City of Savannah introduced a new initiative in their campaign to address gun violence on Friday. Mayor Johnson says they plan to speak with and mentor young men in the community.

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