Guest Column: Washington’s Other Monuments

I continue to document the shrines to those lost to homicide in our community. Although the number of street memorials I encountered were fewer in number than in many previous years — arguably a positive trend — there were still many lives lost and hearts broken by the continued violence in our community.

I recall especially the memorials for James Oh, Tracy Womack, Kevin Leonard, and Simwone Keith Milstead. Mr. Oh was a shopkeeper beloved by his neighborhood, and his loss affected many, as evidenced by the large memorial erected to him at his neighborhood store. Tracy Womack, shot in her home, and the personal testimony of Simwone Keith Milstead’s family to me regarding their loss of this young father tugged at the heart. Tears from heaven.

All of us matter. The shrines left to grieve and honor those who were taken by acts of violence matter. They speak vividly through the senses, shining through the care shown by the shrines’ creators.

As David Bowers of No Murders DC puts it, the acceptable level of murder is zero.

Pray and work for peace, justice and wisdom.

D.C.-area photographer Lloyd Wolf documents the detritus of crime scenes — leftover police tape and other emergency equipment — as well as the memorials that grow in their wake — the flowers, stuffed animals, photos, and more — at Washington’s Other Monuments.

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