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National Day of Remembrance ceremony honors Wiregrass homicide victims

Published: Sep. 27, 2020 at 6:42 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - In 2007, Congress designated September 25th as National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.

It provides an opportunity to honor those that have been lost.

For the month of September, the Wiregrass Angel House showed support for those who have been impacted.

A ceremony was held this week, where dozens gathered to remember family members, friends, and people in community who are no longer with us due to homicide. Nearly 300 names were honored.

“Many of these families feel like that their stories aren’t heard and that they’re not getting the word out about their loved ones," Outreach Advocate Katy Cook Lewis said. “I think today just kind of helps them remember that they are heard and we do hear them.”

For some families, the pain of losing a loved one is deep. Bu they say there’s healing.

“Days are hard,” Hillary Franks said. "You know, some of us smile. Some of us cut up. But deep down we’re truly hurting. So coming out and seeing other people who are going through the same things you’re going through and then having a support system like angel house brings you really helps.”

Franks lost her mom in 2013 due to a homicide.

"She was awesome, she was precious. She never had a bad word to say about anybody. She was loved by everybody,” Franks said.

"It’s nice for them to be around other families that have also been through this and they can lean on each other,” Lewis said.

As the program came to a close, loved ones gathered next to crosses bearing their loved faces.

There, they released releasing in memory.

Wiregrass Angel House also assists survivors in communicating with police, attorney’s general office, and governor’s office. They provide emotional and physical support throughout the course of homicide cases.

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