Fresno County Crime Victims Quilt

April 14, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
An annual memorial to victims of deadly crimes in Fresno County was unveiled at City Hall.It's called, "The Victims Quilt." It was started in 1994. Every year since then, family and friends of those who died have memorialized them with individual panels sewn into a giant quilt.

The latest quilt is a memorial to 19 of those who died in Fresno County in late 2006 and 2007.

The panels include; Brant Alan Daniels, the 19 year old was shot and killed at an apartment near Fresno State in May of last year in a dispute over a stolen video game. Anita Quadros, just 14, she was killed by a drunken driver just before Christmas. Graciel Garay the 26 year old was six months pregnant when she was hit and killed by a stray bullet fired in a gang dispute.

Family members of some of those named spoke before a full house at City Hall. Ronnie Trevino talked about the pain of losing his mother, Nickie Hidalgo; she was shot to death, while he was fighting in Iraq. He said," that place is just terrible, things that go on out there, I just remember I had talked to her just four hours before she passed away. You know, I just remember dropping to my knees, and just you know, asking why, I'm out here fighting, if anything, I'm probably the one that should be buried by now."

Ronnie came home from Iraq to be at his mother's funeral. It was his second time home from military service for a death in the family. His sister Candice was killed in a traffic accident two years earlier, while he was in boot camp. She is memorialized on the 2006 victims quilt. Between his family losses and combat, Ronnie has seen too much death. He says, "It didn't end here, you know I had a few friends I had to bury out there, they were killed out there also. It's just a never ending tragedy.

The goal of this quilt is to remember the victims of crime, and bring those who've suffered painful losses together. Of the ceremony, Trevino said, "It really just grabs my heart. you get to see there's actually people out there who do care?it brings a bit of peace to my life, just to see others out there who are going through pain as well, it's just an awesome program."

There are quilts from every year since 1994; they now contain panels for 375 victims. The Victims Memorial quilts are put on display every year in recognition of National Crime Victims Rights Week.


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