By Gregg McQueen
Visions in veils – and clear-eyed.
Marching and chanting, the women in white strode down Grand Concourse on Thurs., Sept. 26, their veils and long trains trailing behind them.
They donned the formal wedding dresses in honor of Gladys Ricart, a Dominican-born Washington Heights woman who was murdered on her wedding day in 1999 by an abusive former boyfriend.
For the past 19 years, the annual Brides March is held on September 26, the anniversary of Ricart’s death, as participants mobilize against domestic and intimate partner violence.
After starting in The Heights, the procession made its way across Macombs Dam Bridge into the Bronx, where it paused on the steps of the Bronx County Building for speeches from domestic violence survivors and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“I wish we didn’t need to have a Brides March every year, but domestic violence is still pervasive and we won’t stop until it is a thing of the past,” Diaz said. The devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime. Gladys’ family will always feel the pain of her loss, but she will never be forgotten by them or by us.”
The wearing of gowns has become symbolic with the march, which is organized by several community-based organizations, including the Dominican Women’s Development Center (DWDC), Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC), and VIP (Violence Intervention Program) Mujeres.
The first march took place on September 26, 2001, the second anniversary of Ricart’s murder.
Read more: Brides on Broadway | Bronx Free Press