BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Families who’ve lost loved ones to violence gather for a celebration in Druid Hill Park to honor them.

Monique Griego has more on the event that brought them together with police.

Hundreds of people attended Sunday’s event. They say being together helps them deal with the healing process.

Druid Hill Park–the center of celebration. From kids playing to a grill filled with food, hundreds of people came out. All of them were brought together by the same tragic circumstance.

“It’s a reunion to bring all the families here in Maryland who have lost children due to violence,” said Millie Brown, organizer.

Millie Brown founded “A Mother’s Cry” in 2009. The group acts as a support system for families whose loved ones have been murdered.

Attendees say being together offers them comfort.

“To go and talk and not be sad all the time. And even if we want to be sad and can cry and grieve, we can do that amongst ourselves,” said Denise Green, son was killed.

Baltimore Police also got involved by landing one of the department’s Foxtrot helicopters. Brown says by police taking part, it bridges a gap between people living with the realities of violence and those sworn to protect them.

“Violence is such an epidemic. Not only here in Baltimore, but all over the world,” she said.

This summer in Baltimore has been especially deadly, with shootings and murders a daily occurrence. Brown says the victims’ families feel the pain of loss long after the headlines fade.

“Once the burial is over, once the report is done, once the cards stop coming, the parents are still hurting and they hurt for a very long time,” she said.

Many people tell WJZ the event, while lighthearted and fun, has helped them and others get out of a very dark place.

“Gave me a chance to realize somebody out there really cared for me,” Bernice Genius, whose son was killed, said.

“If I can help somebody else on their journey, it helps me with my journey,” said Denise Green, whose son was killed.

Brown says she plans to make the picnic an annual event.

Giant provided all the food for the event.


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