Livin’ in Peace

Mayor Leroy Sullivan presented a proclamation stating May 5 to be Live in Peace Day in Donaldsonville Sunday after the Live in Peace Ride.

When Carmaine Demby went to a “Stop the Violence” ride in Shreveport last month at the Louisiana Funeral Directors and Morticians Association Convention, she knew immediately she wanted to do it in Donaldsonville. She made a few phone calls, submitted a letter to the mayor and city council, they approved. And on Sunday, May 5 nearly fifty hearses, motorcycles and other vehicles rode through the streets of Donaldsonville promoting to “Live in Peace rather than Resting in Peace.”

Demby, who works at Demby and Sons Funeral Home, said she believes the message was heard clearly.

“When we drove through the neighborhoods I believe they saw,” Demby said. “They saw the names on the some of the vehicles of people who were buried that ranged from a two-year-old child up to an 80-year-old man who both died due to acts of violence.”

After the ride, a program was held where Mayor Leroy Sullivan presented Demby with a proclamation stating May 5 as Live in Peace Day in the City of Donaldsonville.

Sullivan read the proclamation and said “today initiates a war against violence in our community by hosting a live in peace ride in our city. Whereas the funeral homes in our area have come together to convoy through Donaldsonville in hearses and funeral cars promoting living in peace as opposed to resting in peace, and whereas due to the great concern of violence in our city motor bike clubs, social clubs, city officials and community leaders are joining with the Louisiana Funeral Directors and Morticians Association in this procession and have donated food and drinks as a way of support of this event. Proclaim May 5 as Live in Peace Day in the City of Donaldsonville.”

Sullivan said he was excited about the turnout of the event, but he was a little disappointed “those who needed to be here aren’t here.”

“But we still got the message out,” he said. “I think it was good to go through those neighborhoods where they can see we are serious about stopping the violence in our community.”

Lewis Charbonnet, the director of the Louisiana Funeral Directors and Morticians Association, also spoke at the event. He said this is a necessary movement and is time for “us to stop and understand that we can live together much better than we can die together.”

“The fact is we don’t need killings for us to buy these hearses out here,” Charbonnet said. “There are enough people who die everyday that we can pay for these hearses.”

Sullivan added, “I hope it continues and this is just the beginning of a long relationship between the people in the community and the City of Donaldsonville to stop the violence.”

Demby added, “I just want to thank everybody for coming out.”