BUFFALO, N.Y. — For the past two decades, Sept. 25 has been a day of remembrance for Jacqueline Wells.
“I've been fighting this fight for a long time,” Wells said.
But now nearly 20 years after her two sons were murdered, it’s the day that she’s there for others.
“I went to another mother, and I was able to wrap my arms around her and say, ‘I know what you're going through. I've been where you've been. Let’s walk this journey together’ to let her know, she's not alone,” she said.
That’s the message of this event hosted by PEACE, Inc., a Buffalo-based group that invited families to share their experiences while creating a community, so they don’t have to go through these times alone.
“My best friend was shot 108 times and was murdered,” Pastor Frank Bostic said.
“At the time, I was angry. I wanted to retaliate. But I must admit, I had some people like me then talk to me and told me there's a better way.”
It’s times like these where loved ones say no one can truly understand what they are going through. But realizing that there’s others who do can help them heal.
“Sometimes you talk with someone who has common experiences and those common experiences allow us to say things can get better,” Bostic said.
Getting better doesn’t mean forgetting but continuing to share the stories of those who’ve passed.
“We want our sons and daughters not to be forgotten. If they’re in their grave, don't leave them there, let their voice be heard through us,” Wells said.
That’s a mission Wells has carried on for the past 20 years and will do so for the next 20 to come.