Vigil held by Par­ents of Mur­dered Chil­dren

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - THE TIMES HERALD - By Kevin Tustin ktustin@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Kev­inTustin on Twit­ter

UP­PER CHICH­ESTER>> Sept. 25 is a spe­cial day for fam­i­lies cop­ing with the mur­der of a child.

De­clared Na­tional Day of Re­mem­brance for Mur­der Vic­tims back in 2007, it’s a day where mem­bers of the na­tional group Par­ents of Mur­dered Chil­dren hold an­nual vig­ils to re­mem­ber the loss of a child from tod­dlers to adults.

The Delaware County chap­ter held their an­nual me­mo­rial ob­ser­vance at their Liv­ing Me­mo­rial Gar­dens in Up­per Chich­ester Sun­day evening, cel­e­brat­ing both the lives vi­o­lently taken from their par­ents and the chap­ter’s 15th anniversary of the gar­dens’ open­ing.

“The grief is still there, and never goes away,” said POMC Chap­ter Leader Jane McPhee, whose step­daugh­ter was mur­dered back in 2001. “but we do have their mem­o­ries to keep us go­ing. Thank good­ness for pic­tures, ar­ti­cles and any per­sonal items we have been able to pre­serve over the years to re­mind us of them.”

The mem­o­ries are seen on over 50 in­di­vid­ual gar­dens, or plots, on the 3.5 acres of des­o­late wooden so­lace, each dis­tinctly re­served by a bench with the lost one’s name. Pic­tures, sports mem­o­ra­bilia, trin­kets and other no­ta­bles are placed about on the gar­dens by fam­ily mem­bers who have agreed to take care of their loved one’s space.

Brookhaven res­i­dent Dorothy Green has had a gar­den in her son’s name, Jonathan, since his mur­der in March 2014 at the age of 37.

This was the first year she at­tended a vigil for POMC.

PHO­TOS BY KEVIN TUSTIN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

State Rep. Stephen Bar­rar, R-160, of Up­per Chich­ester, speaks to fam­ily mem­bers at Sun­day evening’s vigil.

The lawn fix­ture at this gar­den asks peo­ple to trea­sure the mem­o­ries. Fam­ily mem­bers dec­o­rate gar­dens with pho­tos, signs and other ef­fects to help them re­mem­bered their lost loved ones.

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