Community members joined together Saturday afternoon for the 1,000 Families for Peace Rally. Families gathered at the Capitol to say they're tired of the violence.
"We're tired of burying our kids, we're tired of
candlelight vigils, we're tired of saying R.I.P.," said Calvetta Williams, founder of the Mothers Against Violence group.
Mothers Against Violence joined other organizations to rally for peace. They say violent crime happens far too often in Des Moines and it ruins a lot of lives.
"It's hard on families, it's hard on people who lose their children, it's hard on people whose child has to go to jail for something, it's hard on the community," said Debra Hill of Des Moines.
Iowa legislator Ako Abdul–Samad organized the rally. He knows all too well what violence looks like. For him, it's an image of his son who he lost in 1997.
"It's something to see your only child laying there on a gurney with a hole in his chest, knowing he's not going to come see you on Father's Day, we're not going to spend Christmas," Abdul-Samad said.
A rally won't bring back those missed holidays, but he said it will give them a chance to figure out where the real problems lie.
"The rally is for us to talk about what's being done so
that we can connect the dots and then we can find out where the void is," Abdul-Samad said.
He said today's rally for peace isn't a solution, it's a discussion. One that he hopes will unite groups like MAV and the community.
"We need to start having some real conversations. If we
have some real conversations, we'll be in good shape," Abdul-Samad said.