Anchorage, Alaska—Hundreds of victims of homicide were remembered in an annual ceremony Thursday night, hosted by Victims For Justice. In front of the Alaska Victims Memorial Monument at Hostetler Park in Anchorage, about 500 names were read from the list of homicide victims, all of whom were killed in the past 20 years.
Two new plaques were added to the monument this year- one for Joe Young, killed in 2009 in a shooting at The Sports Authority parking lot, the other for Colton Crow, a teenager who died the same year when shots were fired at a warehouse party.
Besides remembering loved ones lost, the ceremony is also a way for the surviving friends and family to cope with the trauma after a violent crime, what an Anchorage Police Dept. Chaplin called the "highest level of grief." One survivor at the memorial was Peggy Anderson, whose son was killed July 2, 2005 in a road rage incident.
"Some years are harder than others, but being able to do this every year, it helps. It helps to have somewhere to come and just remember him, at least once a year with everybody else that's lost other people," said Anderson.
Anderson says she became a board member for Victims For Justice a little over a year ago, to give other survivors the same support that she had.