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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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'Homicide' gives life to museum dream

In her dreams on the January night that yet another child in Baltimore died — a victim of gunfire — Lola Willis heard God's voice: "Lola, we have to build a memorial to the children who've been shot."

With the help of her church and pastor, Willis is attracting attention to the Children's Memorial Museum as one component of a larger dream project: the Baltimore Peace Center. Planned for a renovated church building, the center also will house a resource center and a peace community.

The museum has captured the public's imagination and the media's attention, including the staff of the Baltimore-based TV show Homicide: Life on the Streets.

At the suggestion of Kyle Secor, one of the stars who continues to give the project substantial support, the museum was written into the March 20 episode. Set designers created a mock-up of what Willis envisions the museum will look like initially, complete with mementos and pictures of Baltimore's youngest victims of violence. In the episode, police officers bring to the museum the photo of a girl killed by gunfire during a pizza shop robbery. The museum also has a Web site: www.baltimura.org/cmm.html.

The resource center will emphasize teaching children and adults alternatives to violence. People committed to living in the neighborhood and to counteracting violence will comprise the peace community.


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