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Pilgrimage of Peace focuses on ending violence, remembering victims

The 7th annual Pilgrimage of Peace event is to mourn the violence committed in the community and the world as people walk together as active peacemakers.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark — The 7th annual Pilgrimage of Peace event is to mourn the violence committed in the community and the world as people walk together as active peacemakers.

The 1.3 mile walk from Heifer International to the Beacon of Peace and Hope at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum in North Little Rock ended with an Interfaith Remembrance Service of those who have died at the hands of violence in the last two years.

The event coordinator, Mary Hunt, says this is the seventh time they've held the pilgrimage. It would have been eight, but COVID canceled plans last year. 

"The victims of violence in central Arkansas need to be recognized. Between 2019 and 2020 there are 67 on our list. Between 2020 and 2021, there were 100 more," said Hunt.

Caroline Stevenson with Pilgrimage of Peace gave the opening remarks.

Arkansas State Rep. Denise Ennett read a selection from the spoken word poem by inaugural poet, Amanda Gorman named The Hill We Climb.

The names of those remembered were read by Hamid Ebrahimifar with Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice, Jessica Scott with Moms Demand Action, Dr. Donnal Walter with World Beyond War, Mary Hunt with Pax Christi, and many more advocates.

After each reading of different names from the different groups, a moment of silence was followed.

Different poems and prayers were shared by individuals and faith leaders between the reading of the names.

Masks were mandatory and social distancing enforced to keep everyone safe. 

People can view a live stream of the full event on Facebook here.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Center for Healing Hearts & Spirits to be used in their Victims Services Program.