Despite rain and wind, hundreds of people attended a peace march on Chicago’s South Side on Saturday to pray for an end to the city’s gun violence.

The march, called “Prayer on the 9,” took place at 79th and Greenwood and was hosted by New Live Covenant Church. It featured families who had lost loved ones to gun violence in the city, and while some wore red to symbolize the blood that has been shed, the overarching message of the day was one of hope.

“As spiritual people, we believe in the power of prayer,” Pastor John Hannah said. “We believe that prayer changes things.”

Hannah’s optimism was reflected in other attendees of the march, who held up pictures of loved ones and signs that encouraged residents of the city to love one another amidst an outbreak of violence that has made national headlines and put citizens on edge throughout Chicago.

This is the sixth time that the vigil and march have been held, and participants in the march wanted to show support to neighborhoods in the area to stop the violence.

“This is an opportunity for those that have lost a loved one to senseless violence to bring their pictures and to say that they’re not going to forget about someone that was taken from them,” Hannah said.

One of those residents was Mary Lyle, whose 23-year old son was killed last year in an act of gun violence.

“You can feel the spirit, the prayer, and the love here,” she said. 

Published at 12:06 AM CDT on May 21, 2017 | Updated 6 hours ago

Source