SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA, (WECT) – The 26th annual Homicide Memorial event took place Friday evening at the Leland Cultural Arts Center to remember victims of violent crime.
At the first event, held in 1994, 13 victims were named; this year, nearly 300 were remembered. Violent crime includes homicide, drunk driving and domestic violence.
The event was started by Birdie Fink, whose daughter Amy was killed in 1994 and left along a roadside not far across the state line in South Carolina.
Tonight, candles were lit and, in her daughter’s memory, Fink delivered the address called “voice of a victim”, detailing her journey from tragedy to ministry.
The names of all the victims were read at the ceremony, and roses were presented to family members of the victims who were in attendance. This year, Jon David and Assistant DA Doug Carriker read the names
In the beginning, the group, known as Justice for Citizens, developed a mission to provide support and information to families of crime victims and to advocate for more rights and better laws for victims and their families.
A few years ago, District Attorneys Jon and Ben David assumed the role of organizing the annual ceremony, which rotates between Leland and Wilmington.
The ceremony also honors law enforcement officers, firefighters and military, who died in the line of duty in the past year, by lighting candles in their memory.
This year that included Capt. David McAlpine of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Joseph Gore of the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, and Division Chief Mark Covil of Pender EMS & Fire.
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