By Alicia Roberts

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hundreds gathered for a day of serenity to honor families dealing with the aftermath of gun violence.

“Our communities are becoming so inundated by gun violence that we are becoming desensitized to it and it’s not normal,” a woman said.

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Local leaders from more than 50 advocacy groups came together Sunday in West Philadelphia to help families facing the trauma of rising gun violence.

“I’ve been doing funeral work for the last 15 years so just doing more and more young people’s funerals and it just become overwhelming,” Tone Barr with Philly United AS1 said.

A wall of colorful t-shirts had a powerful message, it represents every person killed in our city last year by an illegal firearm.

“I can just remember everything like I just woke up and it happened last night,” Joanne Watts said.

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Joanne Watts knows the unrepairable grief of losing a child, something she’s carried with her since 1996.

“I had a daughter that was murdered, she was 17 years old and a 28-year-old man was trying to rape her and he shot her in the face,” Watts said.

Watts’ message, progress happens one person at a time and together.

“We have to support each other and it has to start somewhere,” Watts said.

Together, change is possible.

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“I hope they walk away with a sense of hope, I hope they that they feel supported. I hope they walk away with resources and I hope that they get involved because people are wondering what can you do there is something you can do all these organizations need support, they need resources. They need volunteers,” Ericka Gaines, the director of Communities That Care at the central division victim services.

Alicia Roberts