INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Thousands of people across the country took part in a National Day of Remembrance on Friday. It honors the memory of murder victims and survivors of violence.
24-Hour News 8 talked with some of those families in Indianapolis. Family members said the pain of losing a loved one never goes away. Many relying on their faith and prayers to get them through the difficult time.
So far this year there have been 95 murders in Indianapolis, according to police. That’s compared to 103 in all of last year. And some of those cases are still unsolved.
Each ribbon wrapped around a tree represents a life lost.
A life cut short because of violence.
“It’s pain, but each day gets better than the day before. I just wish it would all just stop, period,” said Laura Terrell.
Terrell came out with her family Friday evening to remember her 27-year-old son. He was murdered 18 years ago.
Terrell says that since then, the violence has only gotten worse.
“It really saddens me because it seems like we don’t have anything else to do but just go around and kill each other and we’re not gaining anything from it,” Terrell said.
The trees, filled with ribbons, are just feet away from where Pastor John Girton has been camping out these past few weeks.
His mission is to raise awareness about violence and find solutions to stop it.
“I’m hoping that the consciousness of this community will be shaking,” said Claressa Patton. “I’m hoping and praying that mothers and fathers will do something to help the children.”
Patton knows it won’t happen overnight.
Her brother and husband were both murdered in 2005.
Adding their ribbons to the tree, she says her mission now is to help other families, impacted by violence.
“I will remain to also help bring awareness to this city about the nonsense of violence and how it affects everyone,” Patton said. “It is a lose-lose situation.”
In the meantime, Pastor Girton will wrap up camp on October 4.
He’s also encouraging people to come out for a Unite For Change rally that evening.
His goal is 2,000 people.