National Day of Remembrance vigil

Tuesday marked the First National Day of Remembrance for murder victims and a local group honored their loved ones tonight in a ceremony at the Comanche County Courthouse.  The group was preparing for this event on Monday and, since it's been a long time since they've gotten together, Tuesday night promised to be even more special.

The mood was somber as those gathered honored their loved ones; people that were taken away from them in a very brutal way.  Lawton Homicide Victim's Survivor group founder Birgit Smith and her daughter were busy getting candles ready for Tuesday's vigil.  "I can't say there ever is a closure, ever.  And, of course, to many of us, there's always that big question, 'why?'" she said.

This Eighth Annual Remembrance Ceremony for families of murder victims, at the Comanche County Courthouse, is being held at a fitting place.  "The courthouse is our final stop for justice.  And that's why I chose to do it there," said Smith.  Candles will be lit to honor their losses and balloons will fly into the air as tokens of their love.

"You know, how like at Christmas we can always give that Christmas present.  But we have no way to give anything to them anymore.  So to me, when we send those balloons up, it's like a Christmas present," Smith said.  And, sad as the occasion is, Smith wants people to attend the ceremony.  "I would love them to come out just so they could see the support they can get from others - that they're not alone.  That together, who knows, maybe we could make maybe a difference," she said.

The Homicide Victim's Survivor organization is trying to regroup after their hiatus, but they're having trouble finding a location big enough for them to meet.  The last time they met, there were over twenty members.

The vigil starts at 6:30pm.  If you know of anyone who would like to donate space to this group, please call Brigid Smith at 580-248-1713.