Rogers Park group honors 500 victims of violence on Chicago’s streets

On the day of the December vigil, Occupy Rogers Park hung 499 wooden stars on a tree at the east end of Lunt Avenue by Lake Michigan.

On the day of the December vigil, Occupy Rogers Park hung 499 wooden stars on a tree at the east end of Lunt Avenue by Lake Michigan.

As the nation mourned the loss of children and teachers killed in the Newtown, Conn. school shooting, residents of Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood gathered to remember a different kind of massacre — the hundreds of people killed each year on the city’s streets.

The Facebook invitation for the Dec. 15 vigil was titled “496 Stars: a vigil for the fallen.” And then it became 497 stars. Then 498 and 499. Each star represented one person who was killed this year on Chicago’s streets. Members of Occupy Rogers Park hung wooden stars on a tree, each inscribed with a victim’s name and age. At the rally, one more star was added, representing the 500th person killed this year.

[Photos by Sarah Jane Rhee]

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