Residents Gather to Remember and Honor Victims of Violent Crimes
Once a year victims and loved ones come together to hang colored ribbons
ANCHORAGE – Monday was a day to remember and honor victims of violent crime.
In 1987, Victims for Justice donated a choke cherry tree to the city of Anchorage. Once a year victims and loved ones come together to hang colored ribbons from its branches.
The ten different colors represent ten types of violent crime.
"Every year it seems we have something of particular importance that we remember on a day like today,” said Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew.
"We are all thinking a lot about Samantha [Koenig] these days."
Peggy Anderson lost her 27-year-old son, Mark, seven years ago in a road rage incident. "The driver got out, and stuck a 22 in the window and shot him and he died within five minutes, “said Anderson.
Victims for Justice helped Anderson through 35 court appearances over three years, as well as grief counseling.
Marie Shawanokasic said she attended the ceremony because she wanted to inspire others to leave bad relationships.
"I am strong enough to overcome such things and you know the past may be sensitive still, but I am stronger and with the support of AWAIC; it's been a huge help for me and my family,” said Shawanokasic.
Shawanokasic’s purple ribbon recognizes those who have not made it through domestic violence.
It’s one day every year to make sure victims' rights are always in the public eye.