This month we will observe the 5th annual National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims. Established in 2007, this solemn day was created to honor homicide victims. There is nothing more tragic or horrifying than the violent loss of a friend or loved one. Our South Florida community will be doing its part by hosting a "Walk of Peace" at Tropical Park from 4pm to 8pm on Sunday, September 25th. This event is being coordinated by the Crime Victims Resource Network.
According to the FBI, 102 homicides were reported in South Florida in 2010. This represents much more than just a statistic. This represents individuals whose lives were cut short due to senseless violence. It represents mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters who were taken from their loved ones. They were part of our community and now they leave a void that is impossible to replace. Homicide's impact is not just limited to the victim or his or her family. Their coworkers, classmates, friends and neighbors are all affected as well.
After the initial shock of receiving the news of the death of a loved one, family members often struggle alone with their loss and become overwhelmed with the devastating experience of picking up the pieces. The National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims sends a powerful message to these individuals that we remember their tragedy, honor their courage, and vow to do whatever we can to help them rebuild their lives.
Homicides rip the feeling of security and stability from our neighborhoods. Parents become nervous about their kids walking to school or playing outside. Senior citizens become afraid to leave their homes. Our community must not be paralyzed with fear. Spreading awareness and education on violence and those who would prey on the vulnerable is also crucial. Organizations like Miami's Crime Victims Resource Network provide critical information and assistance to the victims of violent crime. They are an invaluable part of our South Florida community.
I encourage all South Florida residents to take part in the "Walk of Peace" at Tropical Park on Sunday, September 25. Our community shines brightest when we stand together. Let us speak with one voice our determination that we will not allow homicide to rob us of so much human potential. For more information on the "Walk of Peace" please contact Maritza Lopez with the Crime Victims Resource Network at 786-231-4870.
Member of Congress