Year End in Camden

You never see Camden's name in the newspaper on televison without a hopeless adjective - "beleagured" seems to be the most common - attached. Despite being tagged one of America's poorest, most violent cities, they just keep on trying.

On Wednesday the police got 57 guns off the street (most came out of closets, exchanged for $100 grocery vouchers) in the first city-sponsored gun buyback program since 1993. Yesterday, Sister Helen Cole began her 17th annual vigil to remember Camden's homicide victims at 7 a.m. by lighting the first of 49 candles. From now until New Year's eve, once every hour, the names of each of those killed the previous year will be read aloud, as Cole or family member light a candle and pray.

"The families who come are always so grateful," she, tells Inquirer staff writer Darran Simon in today's newspaper. "I think they, too, feel the peacefulness. That's what we are trying to do, is give people that moment of peace here, so when they do go home, they will find that calm when they need it."

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