CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot spent Thursday night in church rallying Chicagoans to fight the violence ahead of the long holiday weekend.

Thousands fill the seats at the House of Hope church, joining city leaders in song, prayer and powerful messages about fighting violence.

Many raised their hands when asked if they have lost someone to violence.

“We cannot continue to accept the violence as the norm,” Lightfoot said.

She assured the crowd of the priorities she’s made to curb violence in Chicago.

“There is no higher calling or responsibility for me as mayor than to make sure I do everything possible to keep our community safe,” she said.

She was joined by Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson.

“This Memorial Day weekend is a kickoff to the summertime,” Johnson said. “Let us not be a national story for the violence in our great city. It’s up to us to get this done.”

Other community leaders were honored, all of them with an understanding of the toll taken on too many in Chicago.

“We must pull together and be safe this weekend,” Lightfoot said. “I will be out. Our people will be out. We need to reclaim our territory block by block.”

Earlier Thursday Lightfoot talked more specifically about safety plans heading into the weekend, the unofficial start of summer.

Plans include 1,200 extra officers on duty and a fast reaction task force.

Tara Molina