Families of murder victims come together in Durham
Posted September 25, 2013
Durham, N.C. — The families of people who have lost their lives to violence in Durham came together Wednesday for an emotional ceremony marking the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.
Durham City Council member Cora Cole-McFadden, whose niece was murdered 15 years ago, was a guest speaker at the 14th annual event, organized by the Durham chapter of Parents of Murdered Children.
"We are the survivors of so many whose lives were merely snatched away without warning," she told the crowd, many of whom wore black and held red roses.
Diane Jones, whose son was shot and killed in 1997, explained the significance of those colors.
"Our colors of Parents of Murdered Children are black and red," Jones said. "Red is for the blood that's been shed and the black is for the violence."
Her son's case remains unsolved, but the support of others helps her cope.
"It helps to make people feel they're not alone in their pain and that somebody cares," Jones said.
Freida MacDonald's 24-year-old son was robbed and gunned down a year and a half ago.
"Once you lose a child, all you really have is keeping their memory alive," she said.
But MacDonald said she finds warmth in seeing her son's name on one of the 22 plaques with 672 names of murdered people at the Durham County Justice Center.
"Even though it is a tragedy, it is a rainbow in that storm," MacDonald said. "It's a recognition that they lived."
Parents of Murdered Children is a national organization. The Durham chapter is the only one in North Carolina.