A march on the Delaney Park Strip during a beautiful Saturday morning offered Alaskans a chance to stand against suicide.

"It's actually a really good day for a walk, not too hot, not too cold," said Anna Sappah, as she and the others had another reason to take this trek.

It's part of the annual Out of the Darkness Anchorage Walk, during which each participant knew someone who died by suicide, or tried to take his or her own life.

That's what brought Sappah here.

"I've lost several relatives, several dear friends, my little namesake, and to honor them," said Sappah.

It's about more than honor, as participants also try to reach a resolution -- something Dennis Lasley has looked for since his friend died by suicide.

"It's a question that's very difficult to answer, and unfortunately right now, I don't think anyone truly knows what contributes to Alaska having some of the highest suicide rates in the nation," said Lasley, who created the Alaska chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention nearly 10 years ago.

Saturday's program is about more than just a walk. It's a step-by-step process of healing for those left behind, as they try to understand why. By grieving together, they can stand stronger together, and not let this garden grow.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a suicidal crisis or emotional distress, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website or call 1-800-273-8255 for free 24/7 confidential support.

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