Thousands of ‘soul boxes’ on National Mall memorialize lives lost to gun violence

Two hundred thousand.

That’s the number of people injured or killed by gunfire in the U.S over the last three years.

A new exhibit Saturday on the Naitonal Mall used 800 feet of ‘Soul Boxes’ to honor the victims.

Thousands of tiny boxes at the traveling exhibit known as the "Loss We Carry" served as a grim reminder of the lives lost, injured and affected by gun violence across the country and in the D.C region.

Giselle Morch of Silver Spring was one of the many grieving mothers who created a soul box. Morch's honored her son, Jaycee Webster, who was gunned down in his own home by three assailants back in 2017. 

"It’s therapeutic and it gives honor to those who had to deal with this," Morch said.

The 36,000 handmade Soul Boxes show faces of loved ones along with quotes, and small things inside, to represent a memory of the person who’s been lost to gunfire.

"You have the survivors, the survivors who have to deal with PTSD, the survivors who have to try and carry on without their loved one here with them," said Morch as she cried. 

Artist and founder of the Soul Box project, Leslie Lee said that though she hasn’t been personally affected, she couldn’t stand seeing these lives lost, as just being another statistic. 

"These numbers don’t mean anything to people," said Lee.

"What we need is a visual, we need something that people can see that represents every single one of those, so you can see them together and get some idea of the immense enormity of this problem."

Thousands of volunteers including Morch walked in a procession along the Mall, carrying an additional 164,000 Soul Boxes to make sure people comprehend the full scale of gunfire deaths and injuries in the U.S and in the DMV. 

"The other side to this is, it tells those in high places that enough is truly enough when are you going to do something?" asked Morch.

"Are you going to do something when it comes knocking on your front door?"