By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –  What once was an unkept and empty lot is now a place for reflection.

One of the most horrifying moments in Marsha Mayes life happened on the corner near 26th and Colfax avenues almost 10 years ago. Her 3-year-old son, Terrell Mayes Jr., was shot and killed while running to a family safe space when gunfire erupted in the neighborhood.

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A peace garden in north Minneapolis was dedicated to Terrell Mayes Jr. on Thursday, what would have been his birthday.

“On his 13th birthday this is the best,” said Marsha Mayes. “This is going to be the land where you can go and plant flowers in memorial of your child.”

This area is not only for Terrell, but all the children injured or killed by gunfire in north Minneapolis.

“This is always going to be a memorial place for him [and] for these kids,” Mayes said.

Marsha said the community truly pulled together to make this happen. Juxtaposition Arts and Roxanne O’Brien led the charge with help from local business owners.

“We grew up in north Minneapolis, me and my little brothers, we all have a lot of ties and connections there,” said Yoom Nguyen.

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Nguyen and his brothers wanted their family restaurant, Lotus, to be a part of this dedication.

“I was sitting next to him when we got the phone call from Marsha and I said, ‘Chef, let’s do it,'” Nguyen said.

Chef Justin Sutherland used the kitchen at his newest venture in Uptown, Side Chick, to help families impacted by the violence.

“We know how tough our hearts are in north Minneapolis,” Nguyen said.

For Mayes this corner will always be where she believes her son’s spirit resides.

“What do you think he would have looked like at 13?” Mayes asked.

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A local artist gave her a vision of what Terrell would look like if he was here today, something she will cherish along with this memorial garden for years to come.

Reg Chapman