Letter to the Editor

Memorial mostly well received

The Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America created a traveling memorial for the 46 Missouri children who died by gun homicide in 2020. The memorial, which consists of 46 T-shirts and a banner, calls attention to the lives cut short and the grieving families left behind. It was displayed from April 8-18 at the First Presbyterian Church Peace Park in downtown Cape Girardeau. I want to publicly thank Rev. Ellen Gurnon and the church for partnering with Southeast Missouri Moms Demand Action to bring it to town.

The memorial was well received by the majority of the public. Love tokens and notes were left by visitors. People stopped to take pictures. Free cable gun locks were distributed by the SEMO Be SMART for Kids team on Saturdays. There were so many positive interactions.

Yet, twice the memorial was vandalized. It is heartbreaking to think that someone in the community has so little regard for a memorial to murdered children that they would seek to damage it. The first weekend, T-shirts were knocked over and a stand destroyed beyond repair. We replaced it. The second weekend the banner was stolen. Instead of taking the memorial down early volunteers handcrafted a temporary banner, and we will find the funds to purchase a new one. We will not be deterred. The memorial will continue on its travels throughout Missouri.

KATHY LANGENFELD, SEMO Moms Demand Action, Cape Girardeau