Local victims of crime will be honored this week during Highland County’s first National Day of Remembrance: Moments of Memory Celebration.
On Sept. 25 at 6:30 p.m., victims of crime will be remembered during the event. It will be held at the Hillsboro Church of the Nazarene, 8230 U.S. 50, east of Hillsboro.
In previous years, victims have been honored with a candlelight vigil held during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in April. But this year the event is set on the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.
Highland County Victim/Witness Director Niki Glispie said there will be a candlelight vigil, and she and Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins will speak. But she said victims’ families and loved ones will also have the opportunity to speak at the celebration.
“It’s their time to celebrate the lives of their loved ones,” Glispie said.
Victims’ families are encouraged to bring along stories, poems, and/or pictures of their loved ones to share.
Glispie said those stories and photos, those moments, it’s the reason the event is called Moments of Memory. She said that celebrating loved ones’ lives is part of healing.
“Come join us as we celebrate the beautiful lives of loved ones who were taken too early” as a result of crime, a flier announcing the celebration says.
At a previous vigil, Collins said the first crime compensation program was begun in 1965. Ohio began its victim advocacy programs in 1976 and Highland County’s program began in the early 1990s, initiated by then prosecutor and current common pleas judge, Rocky Coss.
The victim advocates within the victim/witness office help victims and their loved ones navigate and understand the process following a crime. Collins previously said advocates are called out all hours of the night to hold the hand of the grieving, to be a “soft place to fall” for those in need, and to do something as simple as bring water to law enforcement.
Glispie said the victim/witness office would like to see the event grow each year. She said there are victims’ photos the office doesn’t have, like some from older cases. Glispie said that if there are any families that have not been contacted by her office, to contact her.
For more information, contact Glispie at [email protected] or call the victim/witness office at 937-393-5872.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.