DORCHESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - It was an afternoon of reflection and healing in Dorchester Sunday. Dozens of people gathered for a ceremony at Pope John Paul II Park.

“If Congress has deemed that this is a day where we remember our loved ones who were murdered, then I want to do something about it,” said Pastor Ronald Odom Senior, who is a co-founder at SPOT for Life Foundation.

Odom’s son Stephen was killed in a shooting in October of 2007.

“To lose a child in such a manner was devastating and traumatic to us.”

Local and state officials, including Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox, joined mourners at the event.

“How we will remember, particularly in the police department, is we are going to do everything possible to make sure we hold accountable the people who have done these heinous crimes,” said commissioner Cox.

The Boston Police Department reported 40 homicides in 2021. That’s down from 56 cases in 2020.

Wu said it’s time to find ways to prevent these tragedies:

“This is a moment where we are trying to do big things, trying to address systems that have been broken for a long time. Not just to jump on the news of the day when the cameras are here, but to get at root causes.”

The community ended the event by launching kites, each designed with a victim in mind.

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