HARLEM, Manhattan – A candlelight vigil held Thursday in memory of a 10-year old Harlem boy was filled with a potent combination of prayer — and real talk.
“We stand here today to say, Father, we got it wrong. But we’re here to say we’re gonna knock on doors. We’re going to say, hey, what’s happening? Hey, what happened to your little son, your little daughter — I haven’t seen them in a week or two?” one pastor remarked.
The vigil for Ayden Wolfe, 10, was held in front of his own Harlem apartment building.
It’s the kind of neighborly vigilance on display Thursday night that this group said was missing in young Wolfe’s life; his body was found on the living room floor last Saturday.
The night before, a concerned neighbor called 911 to report yelling coming from Wolfe’s apartment — but did not give a specific apartment number, or answer the phone when called back for more information.
“We failed him. We all failed that child,” said Stephanie McGraw, a local domestic violence support organization called W.A.R.M. “I’m calling on everybody in this community to start: if you see a sister hurt or broken, ask her, walk with her, talk with her, send her to W.A.R.M.”
Darnell Wolfe, who lives in the Bronx and was separated from Ayden’s mother, spoke briefly about his late son.
“I’m torn up over this, and I have to deal with burying my child, which no one should have to do,” he said.
At the end of the vigil was the traditional releasing of balloons to honor a 10-year-old boy, whose life was taken from his family, and this community, too soon.