Yuma, Arizona - September 25, 2019 marks the 12th annual National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.  The first National Day of Remembrance took place on September 25, 2007. The purpose was to honor the memories of murder victims across the country and recognize the impact homicide can have on surviving family members, friends and loved ones. This theme holds true today.

In Yuma County, the Yuma County Victims’ Rights Committee will hold a vigil on September 17, 2019 at the Yuma County Main Library, Meeting Room B, 2951 S. 21st Drive, Yuma, Arizona.  This event will mark the Committee’s 10th annual National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims and its purpose is consistent with those activities taking place at the National level.

“Although nationally the day is set aside to remember murder victims, the local committee wanted to include victims of any homicide,” stated Chairperson of the Yuma County Victim’s Rights Committee, Alicia Franco.  “Our thought has always been that homicide victims are those who have lost their lives at the hands of another . . . and they can include mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, a brother or a sister, a friend or a co-worker - the list is endless. But regardless of how one may characterize their relationship to the homicide victim, one common factor that is shared by all survivors is that the victim of homicide is forever missed by someone whose life was touched by him or her.”  Franco continued, “and the purpose of the National Day and this vigil is to provide an opportunity for all members of our community to come together and provide support and assistance to those whose life has been forever changed by the tragic and unexpected loss of a loved one or friend.”

The event is expected to start at 5:30 p.m. and everyone is invited.  The event will begin with the Honorable Darren R. Simmons, Yuma County Board of Supervisor, District 3 delivering the Yuma County Proclamation wherein they proclaimed and recognized September 25, 2019 as the National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims in Yuma County. 

Several family members and friends of homicide victims will also participate.  The Yuma County Attorney, Jon R. Smith, will serve as Masters of Ceremony and a Wall of Remembrance will be made available for family and friends to post a picture of a loved one who died at the hands of someone else.  Smith encourages everyone to attend, “This is a time for survivors of homicide and those who support them to gather, remember and share their memories of loved ones lost, and to connect with one another.” 

The event will conclude with a candlelight vigil.