BALTIMORE (WJZ) – When a child’s life is lost to violence, many mourn, including their schools and teachers who wanted to watch them grow. Baltimore City Schools hosted its annual Peace and Remembrance Day Wednesday to pay tribute and commit to peace.

“All their potential unrealized and all of their dreams unfulfilled,” said Sonja Santelesis, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools. “We must speak for them and raise our voices to condemn the culture of violence.”

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The nine students whose names were read aloud should be in class, Mayor Brandon Scott said.

“There is no excuse for them not to be learning, not to be playing, not to be thriving in our city today,” he said.

Students like Brimar Livingston, 17, whose mother Yvette continues to mourn his loss.

“A big piece of my heart is gone,” she said through tears. “You don’t never know when the last day is gonna be, you know? And I wish I told my son I loved him before he left that day, but I didn’t.”

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It’s the schools’ system’s fourth year doing this, a fourth year too many, with the hopes that this year will be the last.

“The slaughter of our young people continues,” Santelesis said.

Said City Council President Nick Mosby of the hope not to need to hold the event next year: “When Madame CEO, we have no young lives lost.”

It’s a wish Santelesis said she hopes will be realized.

“We won’t need to be here because we will not have lost any young people to violence,” she said.

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Annie Rose Ramos