Vigils to focus on loved ones lost to violence

Every year in April, the Office for Victims of Crime helps lead communities throughout the country in their annual observances of National Crime Victims' Rights Week: April 10 through April 16.

At the 2015

Attendees at the 2015 Annual Candlelight Vigil and Memorial Service in Chester County salute the flag.

In Chester County, the Crime Victims’ Center will hold its 25th Annual Candlelight Vigil and Memorial Service, an effort to provide words of comfort, hope and challenge to those who have experienced the interminable pain of losing a loved one to violence.

In Delaware County, the District Attorney’s Office and members of Delaware County’s Victims Policy Funding Board will recognize victim advocates whose mission is to assist others in need and have provided extraordinary care and treatment for victims of crime.

On Wednesday, April 13, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey will be recognized for his efforts to ensure the disbursement of federal funds to victims of crime, and Upper Darby Township Police Det. Raymond Blohm will be honored for the unwavering commitment that led to the incarceration of three dangerous criminals who brutality victimized a 22-year-old mother on Christmas Day in 2012. At 7 p.m., Parents of Murdered Children will hold a candlelight vigil in Courtroom One of the Delaware County Courthouse.

The Chester County vigil will take place on Thursday, April 14. It will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a service at the Central Presbyterian Church in Downingtown followed by a candlelight walk to the nearby Victims’ Memorial at The Ponds in Kardon Park. It will conclude with a reception at the church. The annual event remembers homicide victims as well as law enforcement personnel killed in the line of duty.

Victim advocates say that such events enable families an opportunity to come together and share the grief of losing a loved one. The vigils also afford comfort to those left behind that the victims have not been forgotten. Finally, they remind the public of the devastating impact such crimes have on the victims as well as their families and the ongoing efforts to assist those who have been caught in the crossfire.


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