On a rainy Sunday evening, friends and relatives of young men who lost their lives tragically let their tears flow at the Restoration Ministries Church, Brittons Hill, St Michael, where they had gathered for fellowship.
The memorial service was held to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of Dario Lloyd, who was gunned down on July 14, 2014, at 20 years old, in the Bonnetts Housing area.
Lloyd’s mother Angela Lloyd, who said the pain she suffered from the loss was as fresh as if it had happened yesterday, had invited other families reeling in pain from the loss of a loved one, to attend the service.
Delivering remarks at the moving service which was filled with hymns and encouraging words, senior pastor David Durant said from all reports, Lloyd seemed to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time when his body stopped a bullet that was released from a powerful gun in that vicinity.
“Five years later his mother Angela Lloyd, father and two sisters are still grieving the loss of a loving, thoughtful and helpful family member. It does not appear anyone has been held as yet in relation to this murder and this is not helping the pain and agony of the family. The mother asked for this memorial service this afternoon to mark the fifth year of Dario’s sudden and unexpected departure from this life,” he said.
Noting that he sympathised with Lloyd’s relatives, Durant heralded a passionate plea for young people to stop unwarranted violence and total disregard for human life. He urged perpetrators of gun violence to put down the guns, since life was worth much more than having to live with the premeditated murder of someone on their conscience for the rest of their lives.
“Being paid for a few hundred dollars for such action is an insult to your intelligence and the outstanding potential within you. When such violent actions are carried out, an entire family is left in pain, grief, emotional trauma and a sense of despair. And if there are little children of the deceased, this violent action can only increase their hardship in every aspect of life,” he said.
The senior pastor said he hoped for further healing, comfort and strengthening of Lloyd’s relatives and all those who have lost loved ones due to acts of violence.
He said the memorial service was also a time for relatives to forgive whoever killed their loved ones, because it was only through forgiveness that they would experience real freedom and peace to move on.
“May God help you to overcome the anger, grief and pain you are still carrying for these five years. My prayer is for your further healing, comfort and strength,” Durant said.