GARY | West Side High School senior David King called the good turnout for an anti-violence march and rally he organized "amazing."
"My dream has come true," King said.
King was joined Saturday morning on the steps of the Gary City Hall by dozens of young supporters who held aloft anti-violence signs some with photos of loved ones shot and killed.
Prior to the rally, which included speeches by King and a number of dignitaries, participants met at Roosevelt High School and walked or rode in cars down Broadway.
King said he came up with the idea for the Youth for Change Anti-Violence March event after seeing so many reports of gun violence in both Gary and Chicago.
After bringing the idea to Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, King secured several churches, schools, law enforcement agencies and organizations to participate.
State Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, praised King's efforts in trying to stop the violence in the city.
Rogers also urged those in attendance to get involved at the state level, where laws are passed.
"I want you to get involved with me and help the city of Gary to become free of violence," Rogers said.
Gary School Board member Antuwan Clemons thanked King for spearheading the event which sparked "masses of people."
"It (the anti-violence message) starts with us," Clemons said.
Gary City Council President Ron Brewer said it was good to see young people taking their place at an anti-violence event.
Brewer said he doesn't want to have to attend funerals for any young people such as two brothers shot and killed earlier in the week.
"I look forward to going to your graduations and open houses as well as your weddings and your kids' birthday parties," Brewer said.
King told those at the rally that enough is enough as far as the violence that has continued to happen in the Gary and the rest of the country.
"This moment is a moment of urgency. ... We can no longer sit in the comfort of our homes," King said.
King said everyone needs to work together, both young and old, to take action.
"It takes us all working together. Anything we can put our mind to we can achieve. We have the tools," King said.
Freeman-Wilson thanked King for his involvement in a movement she said will continue.
"This is a beginning not an end," Freeman-Wilson said.