Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the deaths of Letisha Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis, killed when gang members in Aston, Birmingham opened fire with a machine gun outside a New Year Party. They had decided to exact a revenge killing on a rival gang member, but instead fired into the crowd, killing these innocent young women and depriving them of beautiful futures.
I wish to take this opportunity to give praise to their mothers, Marcia Shakespeare and Beverley Thomas, who have campaigned tirelessly since their devastating loss, to rid their city of gangs and guns, so that the youth of the future don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.
I wanted to report on this yesterday as I believe it would have been a more fitting gesture, but it would’ve been my late husband’s 50th Birthday. Grief is something you never completely understand unless you have experienced it first-hand and what the mothers of Letisha and Charlene have been forced to endure is something beyond explanation.
My message to them is this: Never give up what you are doing because statistics prove that you are making a difference in this world by educating others through your experiences. Your courage and determination through such adversity is an inspiration to all, may it continue.