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Porch lights and neighborhood gatherings marked Evanston’s observances of the 28th National Night Out, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and held annually on the first Tuesday of August.
Neighbors, religious leaders and City officials attended the celebration/memorial service at Church Street and Dodge Avenue.
Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, Fifth Ward Alderman Delores Holmes, Police Commander James Pickett, Fire Chief Greg Klaiber and retired Police Chief William Logan all spoke about the need to reduce and prevent violence, particularly among Evanston’s youth. Having the community as a whole take a stand against violence goes a long way toward prevention, Mayor Tisdahl said.
Prayers for the community were offered by several members of the clergy.
Conscious of a threatening sky, participants, some already holding umbrellas as the rain began, continued with a planned prayer session, songs by the Mt. Zion Church choir and a candlelight vigil commemorating those lost to violence.
William Logan III read the names of 55 persons from Evanston – a good many of them under 30 years of age – lost to violence. Although the list spanned decades, about one-fifth of the names were of persons killed in the last 10 years.
“Although today is meant to be a positive community event, we cannot forget what has brought us together. As a unified community, we must fight against violence,” said Mr. Logan.
Ald. Holmes said, “As always, it was a great evening. It is one of my favorite events.”