Quilt holds names of homicide and violent death victims of Durham

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The size and scope of the Durham Homicide and Victims of Violent Death Quilt take your breath away when you see it in unfurled in the McDougald Terrace community. (WTVD)

The size and scope of the Durham Homicide and Victims of Violent Death Quilt can take your breath away when you see it in unfurled in the McDougald Terrace community.

Displayed on the multicolored patchwork patterns are nearly 700 names.

The vivid commemoration of lives lost in Durham began in 1994.

That's when two men involved in a chase through the now demolished Few Gardens community fired shots that killed little Shaquanna Atwater as she played outside her home.

She was just two years old when she died.

Jeffery Simmons lives in McDougald Terrace and feels enough is enough.

"Two years old to even the oldest person... Just for the names to be on there, it's a sad thing to even think about," said Simmons

Simmons is one of the adults coaching and mentoring youngsters in that community, urging them to be smart and avoid potential trouble in the streets.

Durham County Commissioner Brenda Howerton is another person familiar with the cost of violence.

"What I know is, parents never, never get over that kind of pain," Howerton said. "You learn to live through it but it's not something you never get past."

Howerton's oldest and youngest son were both shot and killed in separate shootings.

The mother said that a decent paycheck for people who want to work could help reduce the risk of violence.

"By making sure that people are employed and making a great wage, not just a living wage but a great wage, so they can take care of their families," Howerton said.

So, men like Jeff Simmons stepped up and seized the opportunity, telling the youngsters they coach and tutor:

"You want your name to be remembered for a positive thing, and not just a memory on somebody's shirt or even on this quilt. If we could come together as a people, as a community and put an end to that quilt, That would be perfect.

Related Topics:
newsdurham county newsviolencemurderhomicideDurham
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