Tears, coupled with rage and frustration, were shed during an emotional ceremony in Prince George’s County, Maryland, that mourned people who were murdered.
Mothers, widows, and others took turns coming to the microphone during the annual “Remembrance for Murder Victims” to share stories, and let out emotions among company that knew just how they felt. The event returned to the area after it was paused during the pandemic.
“My husband was shot innocently” in 2018, said Sedonia Burress, who now lives in D.C. “It meant a lot to me. It meant a lot to me because my husband’s name didn’t go unheard.”
She said it also meant a lot to know that she was not alone in her grief.
“I’m not the only one out here by myself going through things five and six years later,” Burress said. “It gets lonely, but I try to ignore it.”
Darlene Adair, whose son Lamont was killed in 2018, also spoke during the ceremony.
“We won’t forget. We don’t forget. It’s embedded in our memory every day,” Adair said. “We miss him every day.”
Adair said the ceremony was a chance to bond with others in the same position, and she tried to uplift those hurting just as much as she is.
“A lot of people can’t talk about it,” Adair said. “If I can help them, help that one, it means a lot.”
The event was organized by Glenn Morris, who has done this for years, but he said things changed when his own family learned how it felt.
Morris said the event took a whole new meaning after his nephew was killed in 2013. Once that happened, “I could go help the people more going forward because now I knew exactly how they felt. Until you go through it, you don’t know what it feels like to lose a child by murder.”
Morris said this year, he got a lot of late cancellations over the weekend from those who wanted to attend but decided not to.
“Their murders were too new coming to an event like this,” he said. “But this is the event where they need to come and get the support and help that they need to carry through the next phase in life.”