Matthew Piper would be 22, but his family wants to make sure no one forgets. More than that, they want to prevent such a killing from happening again.
“This is our second march, and we’re just really marching against violence and we thought it would be a great day to do that on his birthday,” said Piper’s aunt, Cindy McVay. “We will do it rain or shine. If it’s just raining, we’ll still march.”
The crowd will follow the same path Piper did that December night, walking from the Chevron station at the top of Mitchell Avenue to a makeshift memorial erected where the man’s body was found lying next to a pizza box. No arrests have been made.
The group, escorted by LaGrange police, will hold a short prayer service and release 22 balloons into the air, symbolic of how many birthday candles Piper would have blown out.
“Out of all of this, we do not want people to forget what happened,” McVay said. “We want it to be fresh on their minds.”
The street will be blocked off, and the public may join in the march, titled a “March for Matthew Against Violence” in remembrance of the man who inspired it.
“We’re not giving up that someone’s going to be caught,” McVay said. We’re not giving that up.
Trey Wood can be reached at twood @ lagrangenews. com or (706) 884-7311, Ext. 228.