Candlelight Vigil for Ben Wilson

In 1984, Ben Wilson was the #1 high school Basketball player in the country and he and his fellow Simeon team members were considered the #1 basketball team in the country. To my community he represented more than basketball, he represented the hopes and dreams that every parent had for their children. They all wanted their children to be the best they can be,go away to college and be successful in their lives.

Unfortunately, on November 21, 1984,  27 years ago to the date we lost Ben Wilson, a student at Simeon when a gang member attempted to rob Wilson and decided to shoot Wilson. Wilson’s death shocked the school, community and the city. Some members of my community still have problems discussing that day and others still find it too painful to talk about.

Last night, a vigil was held in Cole Park and organized by Wilson’s team mate Ervin Small,  Alderman Roderick Sawyer, Wilson’s brothers Jeff and Anthony and all his teammates. Approximately 100 community residents, friends, family and Simeon alunni came out.   A host of Chicago’ best former and current high school player came out to memorialize Wilson. The players included Marcus Liberty, Tracy Dildy, Lowell Hamilton, Bob Smith current Simeon High School coach and other.

The message from last night is the violence must stop.  Also,Alderman Sawyer stated that there will be a some form of memorial for Ben WilsonFast forward 27 years and another teenager decided to take a gun innocent people a gun. Individuals with nothing to do with the disagreement lost their life. When will our young people understand they hurt far more people than their intended target when they take a gun and shoot someone down? Do they understand how long the hurt last?

This madness must stop!

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