This year's quilt honors 12 lives lost to violence or drunk drivers, including Stacey McKinney. The 28-year-old was shot to death in her Tulare home in July of 2006. The four flowers on her square represent her four children, along with a poem that says she'll always be with them. "That is a letter to Stacey to her kids. I really want to impact that message to them. Because they hurt, and I known they'll always hurt. And they'll have that message," said Christy Walls.
Monday's ceremony honored the crime victims while also offering support to their loved ones. A decade's worth of quilts honors 225 Tulare County crime victims. Their survivors are still grieving. Some are still waiting for justice. Lori Ceballos' 16-year-old son, Marcus Corral, was shot and killed just a few feet from his home in December of 2009. "It's important to me that I represent him, to let them know that he's still in my heart and that I miss him. Part of me is gone with him," said Ceballos.
The Tulare County District Attorney's office says the crime victims' quilt is a way to reach out to families impacted by crime. "Once the court case is over, there has to be some thought about what happens to them. How are they going to put their lives back together and we definitely feel we have a role in helping them do that," said Tulare County District Attorney Phil Cline.
The loved ones left behind say only those who have lost someone to crime can truly relate to what they are going through. "That's the way you survive. You have to pull each other through the wreckage," said Walls. "