Families of victims find support at Day of Remembrance of Murdered Victims
Proclamation recognizes September 25 as Gila River Indian Community’s Day of Remembrance
Sept. 25, 2019
Gila River Indian News
The Gila River Indian Community in partnership with several Community departments held an event to commemorate the Community’s first Day of Remembrance of Murdered Victims on Sept. 25, which has been recognized as “National Day of Remembrance for Murdered Victims” since 2007. Over a hundred family members and friends attended the event held in District 4, and hosted by Crime Victims Services (CVS), which provides support services for domestic violence or violent crime victims.
The event was intended to serve as support for those who have lost a loved one to homicide and recognize its impact on surviving family members and loved ones. The awareness color for the memory of murdered victims is black and red. Attendees received a red bracelet and ribbon to wear, and bags with information on CVS and other support services in the Community.
Lt. Gov. Robert Stone began the event with a welcome and prayer. “Joining together, gives us more strength”, said Lt. Gov. Stone who was grateful for the event, “It was really heartfelt with everyone here and sharing as a Community. Joining together gives us more strength.”
Gila River Police Department and Office of the Prosecutor, gave an overview of their jobs and how they can help. They were also taking any information on any unsolved cases.
Ryan Miguel sang two traditional songs. Families spoke of the loss of their loved ones and reminisced of their memories. A proclamation signed by Lt. Gov. Stone on Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis’ behalf, was announced and read during the event; which proclaimed September 25 as “Gila River Indian Community’s Day of Remembrance.”
Families shared their experiences coping with the loss of their loved ones. “It’s been a difficult road but we got through it with family and love,” said Cheryl Williams from District 2, who’s nephew, Wesley Williams was murdered due to gang violence. She shared her appreciation for the event and the turn-out, “we’re all in this together, to support each other.”
“Our main goal was to at least let the Community members know they can lean on each other and have that support with each other,” said Faron Humeyumptewa, CVS Coordinator, who has been in the position for the past 2 years and discussed the planning of the event. “Being there, seeing everyone gather or talk to each other was really inspiring,” said Humeyumptewa on the outcome of the event, “Our goal was just finding that support for each other”.
To conclude the event, attendees were given glow sticks in replacement of a candle for a vigil, due to the weather and had a moment of silence to remember those lost to homicide. The event will be planned again next year. For more information on the event or on Crime Victim Services, the number is (520) 562-4106.
The Crime Victims Services would like to thank the following: “The Office of Governor and Lt. Governor, GRPD, GRIC Office of the Prosecutor, Ryan Miguel, Elizabeth and Larry Antone, Waylon Soke, Bernadean Lewis, Pam Vega and Anthony Stevens, Warriors for Christ Church, GRHC Behavioral Health, Department of Rehabilitation and Supervision, District Four Service Center, On Eagles Wings (Domestic Violence Shelter), GRFD Crisis Response Team, H.O.P.E. Group, GRIC Executive Office, Communications & Public Affairs Office, Office of the General Counsel, and a special thanks to all immediate and extended family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues for your support and encouragement of one another and the whole Gila River Indian Community.”