The picture shows LeRon Antywan Perkins mugging a wide toothy grin. In a collared shirt, layered under a blue and black sweater, his hair trimmed short, he is a vision of a preppy student.
The words "Love ya, mom" are penned in black marker on the photograph's plexiglass covering.
LeRon was 14 when he was fatally stabbed on a frigid evening in December 1995 as he walked to a neighborhood carryout to buy his grandmother a meal. Now his photograph is one of 41 young faces that grace a new memorial at Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Good Hope Road SE.
Parishioners from Union Temple Baptist Church in Anacostia, along with many volunteers, recently erected the 16-foot-tall "Wall of Remembrance" after an escalation in the number of children slain in the District. This year, 13 juveniles have been killed in the city, more than in all of last year.
Some victims whose pictures appear on the wall, such as LeRon, were too young to get a driver's license and never lived to go to high school. Every person on the wall died before reaching age 26.
One of the most recognizable photographs is of Chelsea Cromartie, the 8-year-old girl killed in May by a stray bullet as she watched television in her aunt's home in Northeast. Her hands clutched together, a shiny red purse is around her right shoulder in the photo; she smiles for the camera.
The Rev. Willie F. Wilson, pastor of Union Temple, said he does not want the District to forget what these young people on the wall and their families have lost.
"We're in a crisis mode," Wilson said. "We're in a state of emergency here."
Last month, Wilson and other organizers canceled this year's Unifest, an annual celebration touted as one of the largest African American cultural festivals on the East Coast. It was replaced with Uni-Love, a day that included a two-hour walk to denounce senseless violence.
"I just felt that we couldn't be about business as usual," Wilson said last week.
D.C. police Cmdr. Abraham Parks, who heads the 7th District, provided the memorial's organizers with names of young people slain this year. "I applaud them for wanting to do something like this," Parks said.
Although Uni-Love and the memorial have given the community opportunities to remember and reflect, Wilson said, city officials and residents also need to focus on providing summer jobs and other activities to steer young people away from violence.
The wall is winning attention and support from people in the neighborhood. On a recent afternoon, motorists slowed, bus passengers pointed and numerous people stopped by the wall.
Joseph Ashe, 21, who paused at the memorial after working a shift at McDonald's, said he knew many of those pictured.
"I wish the violence would stop so people could grow up and become women and men," Ashe said. "It's senseless, for real.
"It's a bigger call to everybody," he continued. "We should love each other and stop selling drugs and using drugs and start helping each other."
Michael O. Smith and Matthew D. Plight, friends who grew up together in Southeast, each knew a handful of those memorialized on the wall. As they stood along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, they pointed to the friends they had lost. They feel lucky. They're both 27.
Smith, who has a daughter, 7, and a son, 10, said he rarely allows his children to play outside their Northeast home, for fear they could be victims of street violence. He blames the cycle of killings on a lack of recreational opportunities for youngsters and what he sees as apathy among city officials.
"Those kids are filled with so much animosity and anger from these things that are going on in their neighborhoods," Smith said. "Before things can change, there's got to be peace among the kids."
Joseph Jerome Jackson, 60, shook his head disdainfully in front of the wall. He talked about a time when fights involved fists, not bullets. "I do think it looks good," Jackson said, referring to the memorial. "It brings back a whole lot of memories for people."
On break from her job as a cook at a nearby restaurant, Gloria Waul, 53, said she plans to have the likeness of her son Freddie added to the wall. He was fatally shot as he sat in a vehicle in 1997. He was 22.
"I hope it will open a lot of these young 'uns' minds up," Waul said as she gazed at the pictures. "Black people, we're all killing each other."
LeRon's mother, Zina M. Glenn, 42, said she feels honored to have her son -- "a cold case," in her words, because his killing remains unsolved -- on the wall.
Glenn said she hopes that his inclusion on the wall will bring renewed attention to his death.
"If it does turn over something, then God bless," Glenn said. "But if it doesn't, at least he's remembered."
Vernon Hawkins, an administrator at Union Temple, said many family members of those slain have expressed thanks for having their children recognized.
"You have to put a face on this thing," Hawkins said. "People get killed and you forget. The wall will be lasting."