Duquesne vigil remembers victims of violence
Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of the murder of Don Jones.
The 18-year-old from Duquesne died on April 16, 2012, at UPMC McKeesport.
He had been shot in an alley along the 500 block of Ferndale Avenue in Duquesne.
His mother Lueana Coward marked the anniversary with a candlelight vigil near the scene of the shooting, joined by family and friends who have lost loved ones to violence.
“I was hoping that we could all gather together and grieve together,” Coward said. “Every time I pass this area, in my heart I can feel that day. I can feel the running. I can feel my son laying there.
“Stop the violence, please. We've got to use another approach. I'm putting that magic word in there, please. We want to bring peace back into our communities.”
Coward is a Duquesne native who now lives in McKeesport. She lost two other sons to violence years ago.
Harry Coward, 18, was shot and killed on May 11, 2001. He was a guest at a barbecue along S. Fifth Street in Duquesne when he was shot 10 times as he walked through a side yard to leave the party.
James Jones, 17, was shot in the back on Dec. 11, 2005, when he got out of a car on Pittsburgh's North Side.
Two have been convicted in James Jones' murder, but Don Jones and Harry Coward's murders remain unsolved.
In 2009, Lueana Coward co-founded the nonprofit organization RELIEF — Recognizing Every Lingering Inward Emotional Feeling.
“In that group, nobody has to grieve alone,” Coward said. “Together we stand and divided we fall. Whoever's here, that's who God wanted to be here.”
Duquesne resident Connie Lucas said her son, Wayne Staples, was killed in July 2002.
“Maybe something will snap and people will see that we're losing our children in this community,” Lucas said. “We know the problem, but what's the solution? To me, it's education. The Bible says we perish because of lack of knowledge. What's happening in our communities today is educational genocide. We need our children educated to know who they are, what they are, that they're important. Give them opportunity to come out in the community to be viable citizens in the community. You can only be that through education.
“I'm tired of coming together for funerals. We want to come together for some happy events.”
The Rev. Timothy L. Caldwell Sr. of New Life Deliverance Ministries in Duquesne wasmaster of ceremonies at Tuesday's vigil.
“We are here to sit for our babies,” Caldwell said. “They still need to grow. The only way they can grow is if we stop this nonsense. This violence has to stop. If it doesn't stop, there's not going to be another generation because we are exterminating our ownselves.”
New Life Deliverance Ministries choir performed, and Coward sang her anti-violence song, “Murder.”
A wooden memorial with posters of Coward's sons and other victims of violence was placed in the area.
Motivational speakers and leaders of organizations such as Men Against Destruction Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder also spoke.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pair of Operation Pork Chop trials delayed
- 7 McKeesport letter carriers earn Million Mile status
- Allegheny County explores state of Mon Valley area health
- Elizabeth Forward school board hears money issues
- West Mifflin inches closer to fix for collapsed culvert
- Elementary school students learn to prevent bullying
- West Mifflin plans for host of fall activities
- ‘Wonderland Jr.’ tries to be its own production
- W. Mifflin backs drilling at airport
- County investigators determine fatal McKeesport fire started in living room
- Clairton residents share concerns over sewage bills