Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Year End in Camden

Camden remembers year in violence

Year End in Camden

Camden homicide victims remembered at candlelight vigil Video: Camden homicide victims remembered at candlelight vigil

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."

Click on the photos, or here, for the story and image gallery. The video is below:

Inquirer Staff Photographer
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About this blog

Tom Gralish is a general assignment photographer at The Inquirer, concentrating on local news and self-generated feature photos.

He has been at the paper since 1983, photographing everything from revolution in the Philippines to George W. Bush’s road to the White House to homeless people living on the street right outside his newspaper's front door. For his photo essay on Philadelphia’s homeless, he was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize and the Robert F. Kennedy Award.

His weekly newspaper column, "Scene Through the Lens," takes a look at Philadelphia's urban landscape.

Gralish, along with Inquirer colleague and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Vitez, spent a year visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art to capture the stories and photos of "Rocky runners" who come from all over the world to climb the steps - just as Sylvester Stallone did in the Academy Award winning film, Rocky. Their book, Rocky Stories: Tales of Love, Hope and Happiness at America’s Most Famous Steps, was published in November 2006.

Reach Tom at tgralish@phillynews.com.

Tom Gralish Inquirer Staff Photographer
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