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Roanoke community gathers for “United Against Gun Violence” event

Community members raise a banner ahead of the "United Against Gun Violence" event on Saturday...
Community members raise a banner ahead of the "United Against Gun Violence" event on Saturday morning.(Will Thomas)
Published: Oct. 16, 2021 at 6:24 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - “We are united against gun violence” rang through the air Saturday morning.

“United.”

That was the theme of Saturday’s event, as the Roanoke community gathered to address rising gun violence in the Star City.

“We’re sick and tired of it,” said the pastor of ReFreshing Church, Bishop JL Jackson.

Bishop Jackson, the Roanoke Peacemakers and many other community organizations came together to host the event. Families and friends of the victims of gun violence also spoke out. Bishop Jackson at one point asked members of the crowd to raise their hands if they had been affected by gun violence. The majority in attendance raised their hands.

“This violence is affecting all of us, and so all of us have to stand together against this violence,” said Jackson.

City Leaders were present Saturday, including Roanoke Police Chief Sam Roman.

“This is what I like about Roanoke, because when we find a challenge that we have within our community, everyone comes together in pursuit of solution of that problem and that’s what we’re seeing here today.”

Roman says it’s important for the community and law enforcement to work together to address the issue of gun violence.

The event was more than just about gun violence, Bishop Jackson also called for the end of all types of violence, and for each and every one in attendance to be a better person starting Saturday.

Organizers of the event do not plan to stop here; they plan to continue awareness events and asking community members to step up in their neighborhoods to reduce gun violence across Roanoke.

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