In its fifth offering, the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims commemoration will pay tribute to the memories of more than 100 individuals. To be held at the Hilton Garden Inn — 24 Liberty Drive in Cartersville — on Friday, the event will be presented by the Cherokee Judicial Circuit’s Victim Services Unit of the District Attorney’s Office.
“The annual National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims gives all of us the opportunity to remember those lost to homicide and honor their memories,” said Julia Richards, victim assistance director for the Cherokee Judicial Circuit. “The purpose of this day of remembrance is to focus on the impact of murder on families and communities and ways that we can support and serve the survivors of the victims.
“So we feel it’s important because when somebody is murdered all of the attention seems to go to the defendant — the trial and everything — and this is a time for us to be able to just give all of our focus to the victim and to the family members of those victims. We just want to let people in the community know that their loved ones are not forgotten about, that they’re important to us, and they’ll always be important to us.”
Starting at 7 p.m., the Remembrance Ceremony will feature a presentation of colors by Gordon Central JROTC, an address from District Attorney Rosemary Greene, candlelighting and photo presentation, inspirational dance by Impact Dance of Atlanta and light refreshments.
During the program, 106 victims — of whom 79 resided in Bartow — of homicide dating back to the 1970s will be recognized. Along with their family members, Richards and Greene encourage the public to also attend the ceremony.
“I think it’s very important for people to know that even though someone is gone, whatever circumstances it may be, that they are always with us,” Greene said. “... Even though we are working for justice and to make sure that there is closure and accountability, this is a day for them to remember their loved ones and to put aside the name of the perpetrator and focus on the victims and the life that they had.
“It’s one of my favorite activities that we do as an office here in this Cherokee Judicial Circuit. It’s really a celebration. It is such a moving ceremony. Even for people who have not lost a loved one, which is something that we all hope we never face, it is an opportunity for us to come together as a community to lend support and to lend a voice to those victims. So everybody is welcome to attend.”