Shreveport church plans flag memorial for homicide victims

Each red banner will represent a person whose life has been claimed by gun violence in the city
Published: Jun. 25, 2019 at 11:31 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - For the past year, Galilee Baptist Church has been holding spiritual boot camps every other month.

The concept introduced by pastor Brian Wilson brings together 7-year-old boys to senior citizens to talk about the deep issues affecting our community.

The boot camp has had some powerful speakers, like former NBA player and Shreveport native Stromile Swift.

On Saturday, they will welcome former Shreveport Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran to speak.

The group’s numbers have grown to at least 80 boys and men in attendance.

With all the gun violence, Wilson said they plan to do something different this session. Participants will plant red flags, one for each victim of gun violence this year.

“Unfortunately, every other day in Shreveport, there’s another name added. Honestly, it’s kind of hard to keep up with the numbers.”

Of the 18 homicides, police said 17 are because of gun violence.

“We’ve kind of become desensitized to the violence around us," Wilson said. "But these are somebody’s parents, somebody’s sons, daughters. And so they matter.”

He hopes people passing in front of the church will see the red flags and the image will have an impact and perhaps make someone think twice before they act.

All boys and men are invited to the free boot camp.

The next session will be held from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Galilee Baptist. The flag ceremony will begin at noon.

The boot camp also includes activities like football, baseball and basketball. A barbecue meal is being prepared for the boys and men who attend.

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