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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Hundreds Gather To Remember Homicide Victims

DAYTON -- Hundreds of families spent Monday night remembering loved ones, gone too soon, at the 23rd Annual Homicide Victim Memorial Service.

Fifty homicide victims killed between October 2012 and October 2013 were memorialized. But the service isn't just for family members of those victims. Survivors of homicides from decades ago also come to the service every year to show support.

It was a somber mood as dozens of homicide victims were remembered Monday. One by one, family members hung ornaments with a picture of the victim on a special memorial holiday tree.

"It's how my family celebrates Christmas with Josh, we wouldn't miss it. It's where we feel closest to him at Christmastime." said Lisa Norris, whose 19-year-old son was murdered seven years ago.

"It was very special. It lets you know the community is mourning your loved ones and she's not forgotten," agreed Dawan Culpepper.

Her daughter, Briona Rodgers, was murdered by Dawan's estranged boyfriend last February.

"Each day is something different. Your emotions get the best of you sometimes, but the main goal is to move forward in the healing process," Culpepper said.

Linda Parrish knows exactly how difficult the holiday season is for all the families for murder victims.

"My whole world turned upside down. It's a day I would wish on no one. My life has not been the same," Parrish said.

Her son was shot 23 years ago on Christmas Eve in Dayton while on leave from the Navy. She's been attending the annual memorial service and balloon launch ever since.

"To be able to talk to other people who feel the same way you do, it makes all the difference in the world," she said.

The number of homicide victims remembered is up over last year. The youngest victim was just 2 months old, the oldest was 94 years old.


 
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