Families of homicide victims remember loved ones in annual event

season to remember tree.jpg
Posted at 9:27 PM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 23:28:04-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — It's an event no family wants to be part of but they come together for support and comfort.

The 26th annual Season to Remember Memorial Event for families who have lost loved ones to homicide was held Thursday evening in the Children’s Garden of Centennial Park.

Unlike prior years, this was a come-and-go socially-distanced function without a planned program due to COVID-19.

Families were able to place Christmas ornaments, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa remembrances on a special evergreen tree as part of an annual ritual that began in 1995.

"It’s been a long time; you've seen faces that you've seen before and it just helps you get through the holidays," said Anita Lewis.

Lewis says for more than 20 years, her family has come to this tree to honor her brother Larry.

"1997 January 16, my brother who's, 15 years younger, he was like my own child, he was murdered by two teenage boys," said Lewis.

Even in a pandemic, families weren't going to let anything break this tradition.

Like Lewis, she says her brother will never be forgotten.

"He's not and he'll never will be as long as his family is still here," she said.

The memorial event, sponsored by the police department’s Victim Intervention Program, the District Attorney’s Office, Tennessee Voices for Victims and the United States Attorney’s Office, helps families ensure that homicide victims are not forgotten during the rush of the holiday season.