Ex-officio Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young is joined by Sen. Ben Cardin, Baltimore Police Maj. Monique Brown and other officials to remember the victims of shootings and other violence in Baltimore City.
As part of the "Together We Remember" vigil at the Lloyd Street Synagogue, elected officials and community activists spoke about ways to prevent violence in the city and abroad.
The resolution — introduced by councilmen Zeke Cohen, Isaac Schleifer, Robert Stokes, Sr. and Ex-officio Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young — is similar to efforts at other state legislatures and municipal governments to recognize the historic impact of systemic violence.
And while the event started with officials reading the names of victims who had died in shootings and government-led atrocities throughout the years, much of the discussion focused on the growing violence in Baltimore city.
"What do we mean when we say 'never again'?" said David Estrin, founder and CEO of Together We Remember.
But she also said the neighborhoods themselves bear some of the responsibility, saying they have abandoned the "village concept" she grew up with and need to do a better job at educating the youth about healthy conflict resolution.
Alex Long, a member of the city's "Safe Streets" program which uses community outreach to dissuade the use of violence, put some of the blame on city officials while members of city council sat in the audience.
We are LIVE from our Baltimore vigil at the link below. Performances by @KondwaniFidel & Upendo, panel discussions, remarks by @SenatorCardin & more. Program starts at 5:30 pm ET.
Jo Saint-George, a member of the Maryland State Conference of the NAACP, said there has been an increase in hate crimes nationally and "I don't see things getting better," referencing the fires set at three predominantly black churches in Louisiana.
"The hate level has risen because of this administration at the national level," she said, adding that racial hatred has always been part of the country, "but now we have to deal with it because it's in our face."
Sen. Ben Cardin spoke about the lack of countries operating under true democracies, saying there have been 13 consecutive years where the number of truly Democratic states has declined, setting the stage for some of the human rights violations the world still sees here today.
And he looked to frame acts of hate against a particular group as ones against everyone, saying at one point "if any one of us aren't safe, then none of us are safe. If there's an attack against Muslims, it's an attack against Jews."
Cardin added, "we need to understand the risk factors and speak out about the rise of hate. We always must hold those accountable who are responsible for these actions."
Cardin was another speaker who called on those in attendance to take action and become more involved in civic life.
"We need to lead. We are a democracy. Your activism will affect the policies of America," Cardin said.
Senator Ben Cardin attends a vigil at Lloyd Street Synagogue to remember victims of violence in Baltimore City and call for unity to address rising hatred and other violent crimes. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun video)