Victims' Memorial Quilt ceremony honoring lost love ones

April 24, 2013 12:07:58 AM PDT
Families of victims who were killed so violently gathered together for a memorial. The annual Victims' Memorial Quilt ceremony gives family members the opportunity to honor the loved ones who lost their lives to an act of violence.

"It's not easy, it's my son," cried Tiffany Shanes.

The pain Shanes feels is still raw and she doesn't think anything will help it go away. In October last year her son Lester Cox was trying to cross the intersection of Clinton and Warren to meet up with his grandmother. Investigators say two cars ran into him but one driver never stopped after killing her 11 year-old son.

"What's even worse is even in the police report they didn't leave. They drove past my son's body and left and do not have any guilt about what they did," said Shanes.

On Tuesday night she came to watch the unveiling of a quilt that carried a square patch to honor her son's short life. Shanes was just one of hundreds of families who also lost a loved one and have a small stretch of fabric that shows their pain.

"You know I am in a club I don't want to be in and I can't get out of the club. There are no words to explain the loss of a child," said Ronald Matthes.

Matthes may never explain his pain but created this fabric filled with emotion and the things his daughter Jessica, loved. "When we buried her she loved her Chucks tennis shoes and we put green tennis shoes on her and the orange cat is Bosco who she left behind," said Matthes.

Jessica Matthes and her boyfriend were killed by a drunk driver in 2011. 29 year-old Larry Garcia was convicted and is now serving time for their deaths. Organizers say the annual Crime Victims' Memorial Quilt Gathering shows the impact violent crime has on those left behind. "A little bit of closure I was reluctant to come here, I am still dealing with the loss," added Matthes.

The memorial quilt was created in 1994. Since then 457 victims have been added to the fabric.


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