September 25th marked the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims, a day set aside each year to honor the lives of loved ones taken by violence. Once again, the local Sacramento Chapter of “Parents of Murdered Children” (POMC), in coordination with chapters around the nation, held a special ceremony to remember and pay honor to the sons, daughters and other family members that have been taken away all too soon.
I was privileged to be one of the selected speakers at this year’s POMC event on the north steps of the State Capitol. When I addressed the supporters and families, I conveyed that CalVCP is committed more than ever to helping parents recover from such tragedy. For many, the road to healing is long and arduous and now is a time when victims need our help the most, as well as our support. We understand that and provide mental health treatment, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages and much more for those who have no other means.
There were several other speakers on this day, including: Sean Laird, Sacramento Deputy District Attorney; Ahmale Dorsey, Victim Advocate; and Mindi Russell, Senior Chaplain, Sacramento Law Enforcement. All were on hand to share their thoughts and provide support to grieving parents and family members and be part of this community of victims and survivors.
Sadly, 38 percent of the victims that we help are under 18 years of age. And last year, 31 applications for assistance came to us from a parent or guardian who lost a child to violence. Every day, I see how important it is that we have this service for the thousands of families who have nowhere else to turn. We are continuing to work with our sister agencies to provide the necessary resources and care for these victims and their families. By doing this, we can ensure that Californians have somewhere to turn when the inconceivable happens.
As a united front, we shall always remember and honor all those who have become victims of murder and all those families who lost so much.