Jordan Davis' father pays tribute to his son on his 18th birthday

Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown proclaimed February 16 Jordan Davis Day

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Friends, family, and complete strangers gathered Saturday afternoon at the Jacksonville Landing to remember Jordan Davis on what would have been his 18th birthday.

With birthday cake, and music, they're celebrating Davis and other victims who lost their lives to gun violence.

"Just celebrate life. Life is short, and just celebrate it," said Lucy McBath, mother of Davis. "Victims have no voice because they're not here, and a lot of parents may not have the ability or the means to be able to support gun violence control. This is for them. This is for all of them."

The Wolfson High School student was shot and killed the day after Thanksgiving at a Southside gas station during an argument with man over loud music.  Police have charged Michael Dunn with murder in the case.


"You have to do something positive," said Ron Davis, Jordan's father. "That's the only way that you're going to get with your grief and really heal."

IMAGES: Jordan Davis day

Davis (pictured, right) always wanted everyone to come together, said McBath, and he had been trying to make that happen for his 18th birthday.

"I said 'Jordan, I'll give you a party in Atlanta, or your dad will give you a party in Jacksonville," said McBath. "He said 'Mom, why can't we have just one big party with all the families and everybody?' This is his party. I couldn't be more happy and honored to be his mother."

Local leaders and nearly 20 hip hop artists were expected to be at Saturday's event, which was organized by Davis's father.

"Every single day there is some kid killed and they are out, just trying to be a child and have a good time. It becomes a dangerous community and a dangerous America. We need to stop that," said Davis.

Congresswoman Corrine Brown was among the local leaders in attendance. That support let's Ron Davis know he is doing the right thing.

"I could sit at home and be angry about what happened to Jordan, but that is not going to help anyone in the community," said Davis.  

Last weekend in Miami, Davis had the chance to meet the parents of Trayvon Martin for the first time at a similar rally held for the 17-year-old shot and killed by George Zimmerman last year in Sanford, Fla.  Zimmerman is scheduled to go on trial in June. 

Davis said he and Martin's father have a lot in common.

"That touched my heart so much. We have a connection that will never change," said Davis.

The event honoring Jordan Davis was open to the public from 1 pm to 5 pm at The Landing. His mother and father said they will continue to honor and celebrate their son, in hopes of bringing the community together for positive change, a change they say Davis would be proud of.