MANHATTAN (PIX11) — As Hispanic Heritage Month ends, some leaders focus on healing the community from violence. They gathered for the second annual Walk the Bridge for Peace.
Organizers said they are encouraged to see some improvements but it is important to continue to raise awareness about all types of violence. As marchers went from Northern Manhattan to the Bronx, a loud call for peace was heard in the streets. The symbolic walk showed unity against guns and violent crimes plaguing our city.
“We want peace. We want love. We want to live in happiness. No body wants to live in violence. We want peace, love, and joy,” Annette Phillips Hakeem said.
The event drew support from elected officials, religious leaders and community members who said now more than ever, New York needs to show the world why peace must prevail.
“Overwhelmed and just filled with emotion because of what’s happening in the middle east. Just praying for our brothers and sisters. Obviously, in Israel and what’s happening in Hamas and what is happening every day in our city with gun violence, gender, and domestic-based violence,” said the Bronx Borough President, Vanessa Gibson.
While the latest NYPD statistics show that most crimes have declined compared to earlier in the year, marchers feel that some communities can be safer.
“It’s been crazy for a few months with all the mopeds and shootings but I’m against any kind of violence,” said Rafael Gutierrez.
“Bridges bring people together, and this is brining northern Manhattan with the Bronx,” Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark said.
In honor of Hispanic heritage month, two communities with predominantly Latino residents are taking a stand against guns and gun violence.
“We would be kidding ourselves if we think that the police on their own can actually fix this,” Yudelka Tapia said.
“This is our duty; our duty is to help stop the violence from happening in our communities,” said Benjamin Garcia.
After the march, the group gathered for a vigil in the Bronx where they paid tribute to New Yorkers killed by gun violence.