Providence, RI – This Memorial Day in Providence, over a hundred people marched to honor not a soldier, but a peace maker. They were celebrating the life of David Cartagena, a street worker with the Institute for the Study and Practice of Non-violence.
It was a crowd of many different faces- Providence's chief of police, former gang members, politicians, children, people walking their bikes, and people walking their dogs.Almost all of them wore blue t-shirts with an image of David Cartagena.
Cartagena's sister Carmen Cartagena said growing up, her brother had his issues. He was a member of the Latin Kings Gang and he had a criminal record, but he grew up and changed his life around."We just don't understand why he had to leave so soon," She said, her eyes starting to water,"but other than that, he was blessed. He went through a lot in life and came out on top at the end."
David Cartagena joined the institute for the study and practice of non violence in 2005 and became a mediator, mentor, and public speaker devoted to bringing peace to his community. Cartagena was killed in a traffic accident last year. He was 38.