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Peace Walk to remember victims of gun violence

Anita Franklin.jfif
Posted at 6:55 PM, Oct 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-18 07:47:56-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The legacy of Anita Franklin continues with the annual peace walk and now a mural in her honor.

The Anita Franklin mural was first unveiled over the summer. On Sunday hundreds gathered in Lexington's Duncan park for the formal dedication put on by the Fayette County Sheriff's Office.

"I love that a lot just to be able to see her face in this park -a park that meant so much to her means a lot to me," said her son Ricardo Franklin.

Seven years ago, Ricardo lost his brother Antonio Franklin Jr. in Duncan Park to a stray bullet. There was a point when he wouldn't step foot in it.

"I think the first peace walk I may have not come to because it was difficult, but just being able to come back here and show my strength and my family for coming back here every single year, it shows a lot of strength and courage to place for us to come back filled with peace and love," said Ricardo.

The mural was created by local artist Keaton Young. It features an image of Franklin with white doves and vibrant colors on one side and a silhouette of her speaking to a group on the other.

"To me it means that her mission is not in vain. A mission is still going on even though she's not here, and I was able to help, you know, just a little bit with that mission," said Young.

Sheriff Kathy Witt chaired the art project in partnership with Lex Arts.

"In this audience today, we have the power to end gun violence and so this is another affirmation that we are taking a deeper dive or digging in stronger and harder to make sure that our community is the safest city in America, and it's gonna take all of us," said Witt.

Guests did a 1-mile peace walk in the neighborhood that Anita Franklin started after the mural was introduced.

Partners included the Fayette County Sheriff's Office, Antonio Franklin Jr Violence Intervention Project, LexArts, Deco Art, the Lexington Police Department, the Lexington Division of Parks and Recreation, and We are Survivors.