2014 National Day of Remembrance

September 2014 Message From Mary, National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims

Dedication"For survivors of homicide victims, having their loved ones remembered is vital. Though survivors may individually and formally remember them on their own anniversary dates or other special occasions, it was felt that it would be appropriate and beneficial for all survivors to have a special day to remember together," according to the National Parents of Murdered Children (POMC) office. As a longtime POMC member, I could not agree more.

POMC founders, Robert and Charlotte Hullinger, and the POMC National Board of Trustees approved an annual "POMC National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims" in April of 1999. September 25th, the anniversary date of Lisa Hullinger, the founder's daughter's death was chosen for the annual day of remembrance.

Representative John Shadegg (R-AZ) introduced H. Res 223 to establish September 25th as a National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims. It was co-sponsored by Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH) and passed in May 2007.

In October 2007, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed Senator John Cornyn's bipartisan resolution, S Res.327, establishing September 25th as the "National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims". The measure was co-sponsored by Senators Jon Kyle (R-AZ, and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

POMC Chapters have been celebrating the "National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims" since 1999. The first official "National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims" was celebrated on September 27, 2007. Other co-victims of homicide support groups and victim assistance have also joined together to support victims of homicide. We at the Greater Portland Chapter have been celebrating since it was first designated in 1999.

On September 25, 2009, we celebrated for the first time at the site of our current POMC Memorial Wall in Oregon City at Mountain View Cemetery. This year, we will host another celebration on September 25, 2014 at 1 pm. We are again having speakers, music, presentation of the colors, a memorial tribute and the reading of victims' names. Lunch will be provided.

We are so honored to have had Washington State join us in our endeavor to build our wall and to share this special site. In 2013, we celebrated the completion of our Memorial Wall. We now have the only memorial wall in the Northwest for homicide victims. It is the eighth memorial in the United States. Our loved ones' names inscribed on granite will be a tribute to their lives and the fact that we will not forget. After our latest names are added to the wall, we will have nearly 500 names listed. We are in the process of fundraising to build another wall for listing more names. It will be built close to the current wall.

Murder cannot be resolved! It is part of the mission statement of Parents of Murdered Children to provide support and assistance to all survivors of homicide and also help to reduce the murder rate.

By calling on all people to remember, we show we are not forgetting our loved ones. Since the start of Parents Of Murdered Children in 1978 in Cincinnati, Ohio, there have been over 600,000 homicides in the United States. There are 3.000 people murdered every 10 weeks in the country. The number doubles if vehicular homicide is included. Victims of crime need equal rights as defendants. They deserve to be respected, offered support, and given justice. Homicide cannot ever be made right. As a nation, we must not forget the grief that family and friends suffer when a loved one is murdered. One of my favorite quotes is, "If we forget, it will happen again." It was written and spoken by Simon Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor.

Clackamas County District Attorney John Foote said in an earlier statement, "There needs to be a public space where we acknowledge these senseless losses to criminal acts. In a unique and beautiful way, the Oregon/Washington Memorial Wall will provide solace to families and friends of victims, while at the same time affirming the spirit of humanity that endures and to which we dedicate ourselves."

Before retiring, Sheriff Todd Anderson from Tillamook County said, "The Oregon/Washington Memorial Wall will bring a certain measure of healing to survivors of murder victims. Most importantly, the memorial will affirm the sacredness of the lives that have been taken and help restore faith in fellow man."

We at the Portland POMC Chapter also want to reiterate to families and friends who have lost loved ones to vehicular homicide that we consider vehicular homicide the same as murder. We cannot say enough that the names of their loved ones belong on our memorial wall.

Everyone is invited to our "National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims on September 25th, 2014. We encourage all victim assistance people, district attorneys, politicians, and all people working in the justice system to join us as we all remember. The general public is also invited to attend. We will have a barbeque after the program. The program will be at Mt. View Cemetery, 500 Hilda Street, Oregon City, OR 97045 at 1 p. m.

Thank you for remembering,
Mary Elledge

Article written by Mary Elledge, Chapter Leader, Greater Portland Area

The event was held September 25, 2014 at 1 pm at Mountain View Cemetery, 500 Hilda Street, Oregon City, OR 97045.

Thanks to Key Note Speaker Josh Marquis, Clatsop County DA.

The event also included:

  • Bagpipe performance
  • Presentation of Colors
  • Music
  • Reading of Our Loved Ones Names
  • Butterfly Release
  • Hosted Barbeque Afterwards

The Greater Portland Area Chapter is proud to share with you our new Oregon and Washington Memorial Wall (70 new names have been added).