NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Community leaders, city officials and families of young crime victims came together Friday night, recognized the debut of a new memorial to children killed in homicides.
The memorial comes in the form of a booklet that was handed out to family members. It includes the names of youth homicide victims from the last two years. The book includes stories about the children as well.
"It means a lot to me because it lets me know they're not forgotten," Mara Battle said. Battle is the great-aunt of five-year-old Samaii Daniel and eight-year-old Sam'marie Daniel. Police say the two girls were killed by their step-brother while they were playing in the snow in January, 2018.
"That's kind of hard in itself to know that a kid was being a kid and something tragic like that happened," Battle said. "They were our hearts, and so with them being taken away like that it really, really did number on us that we'll never get over. We'll never forget them."
The book was created by the same committee tasked with revitalizing the Childrens Memory Garden, headed by former Tennessee First Lady Andrea Conte. The garden sits in the shadow of the Parthenon in Centennial Park. Victims names are engraved in the bricks that make up the path. The garden was started in the 1990s.
The garden will be redone and will move when Centennial Park is remodeled.