Willowbrook neighborhood gathers to remember one of their own
Updated: November 5, 2012 6:44AM
UNINCORPORATED WILLOWBROOK — Joshua Holmes called himself “Savage.” But it wasn’t because he was a tough guy.
“He says he’s a beast on the mic,” said Joshua’s mother, Trina Holmes.
But at 6 foot 2, the cheerful young man with the movie star smile was a gentle giant, she said.
“Everyone he met was a friend,” said Holmes. “Joshua never met an enemy.”
But on Sept. 25, he did meet an enemy. As Joshua walked with friends not far from his home on Honeysuckle Rose Lane, he was shot and killed.
Family, friends and neighbors gathered Friday evening at the spot where Joshua died to remember a young man they described as “bubbly,” friendly, kind and even silly.
Friday’s gathering was a tribute to Joshua, but it also was a message of peace and of hope.
Joshua’s father, Johnny Holmes, urged young people to put aside their differences and to love each other.
“I even love the brother that murdered my son,” he said. “Start showing love to one another.”
The Rev. Travis Williams, a resident of the Hinsdale Lake Terrace community, encouraged those same young people to focus on their education and to set goals for themselves.
“You can make it,” Williams said. “There’s still hope. There’s still love in our community.”
Bianca Woods said she hopes the tragedy will bring about change.
“I hate that this happened,” said Woods, who didn’t know the Holmes family until Monday, when she took Trina Holmes to the hospital to be with her son.
“I hope it will bring us all together,” she said.
Woods said the young people of the area need activities to keep them busy and to help them to get to know each other. She said she hopes parents will come together to make that happen.
Holmes admits her son “did some stupid things that got him in trouble,” but he also was a writer, a musician and his little sister’s best friend.
Trina Holmes said she never realized until this week just how many people were touched by her son’s life. Some expressed their feelings through text messages and Facebook posts, while others wrote messages on the street and on the light post near where Joshua died. And hundreds, from babies to grandparents, came out Friday to share their memories and to support the Holmes family.
“We are here for you, whatever you need,” Williams said.