WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local organization held its annual event for the National Day of Remembrance for murder victims. The loved ones left behind say the grief never goes away, but they find comfort in connecting with others who have been through similar experiences.
Families from across Northeast and Central Pennsylvania came to Brandon Park in Williamsport for the Fourth Annual National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.
“I think everybody, when the things first happen, are very welcoming and comforting. They come and they meet with our families, but then it kind of falls quiet. Everybody falls back to their normal and the families find their new normal,” explained Bridget Irwin an advocate for Angels Families Unite.
But the grief never goes away. Angels Families Unite, a group of volunteers impacted by homicide, organized the event to bring surviving victims together and offer support.
“There’s a healing that happens here when you get around people who get it and can share those experiences because it’s a pain that you only know if you’ve personally experienced it,” said Irwin.
The faces of the victims were displayed and their names were written in chalk on the concrete. Families shared stories about their heartaches to bring awareness against violent crimes.
“Hopefully that they can find you know the right set of minds to not, you know hurt someone or go about it that way. There’s other ways to handle your business,” said Corinna Jones, an angel sister.
Candles were lit to honor each loved one and 174 names of local homicide victims were read. Families want others to know you’re not alone, even on your darkest days.
“We’re there for them, we are a shoulder for them as well as them being a shoulder for us. It’s good knowing that there’s other people out there that are experiencing the same thing. Unfortunately,” added Matthew Welch, an angel brother.
“I want to thank cricket and angel families for the support because without her I don’t know if I would’ve got through it,” said Holly Koch, an angel sister.
‘Angel Families Unite’ offers around-the-clock support for those who need it most.