Family Life

National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims Observed in Oklahoma City

The sky was cloudy and the rain began to fall like tear drops from heaven. The relatives of homicide victims gathered around in honor of their loved ones that had been taken by the hands of someone else.

Channel 25 Fox News was there to broadcast the entire memorial service that was held and so was Associated Content CP Rosa Florence (Hayes). The ceremony started off by a passing of the candles so that each survivor would have a candle to light at the end of the ceremony. The Honorable Ray Elliot, Oklahoma County District Court Judge, was there to be the Master in Ceremony. He offered a speech to begin the ceremony that talked about the many victims that have been murdered and how much the memories of our loved ones would remain in our hearts forever.

LaDonna Heintzelman offered a speech of remembrance and a poem that was dedicated to her son who had been murdered and to the other murder victims. She also talked about the way that she felt and how much her life has changed since that dreadful day of her son’s death.

A solo was sung by Ron Walters who is a crime victim advocate. The song was heartfelt and made the homicide survivors cry because it was about the way that most of us feel inside.

The Honorable Jim Reynolds offered a few words about the way that he feels about the murder victims and their families.

Florence offered a speech that touched the other survivors and through tears, she told of how she felt and what makes us all a part of a group that no one wants to be a part of.

Ron Walters sung another solo that was dedicated to one of the murder victims. The song reminded the survivors of their victims and how much they miss them.

The Honorable David Prater who is also the Oklahoma County District Attorney, offered some words of wisdom about the trials and how he wished that we would be able to show the people in the court, who the murder victims really were and about how people begin to forget about the murders and the survivors once the news media goes away and the trials are over.

As the people were gathered around and with tears in their eyes, I said a speech that touched the homicide survivors in a way that could not be explained. The rain drops were slowely falling from the Heavens and the photos of the murder victims behind me, were just a reminder of how many people are murdered each day of our lives.

This is the speech that was prepared for the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims. It was prepared by Rosa (Hayes) Florence.

My name is Rosa Florence and I stand here today in remembrance of all the murder victims. I am the step-mother of Gaje Jeffrey Florence. Gaje became a murder victim on May 19th of this year at the young age of six years old. Gaje is one of the many loved ones who will be remembered on this day.

I am part of a group that no one wants to be a part of. I am part of a group known as the homicide survivors. The homicide survivors are those who have loss a loved one by the hands of someone else. I am one of many who have had to suffer through this.

What hurts the most is not knowing what could have been and not wanting to walk through this journey in our lives. Having questions that linger, questions that we cannot seem to find the answers too.

You wake up everyday wanting to reach out to your loved one, but you are unable too. The loss goodbyes of not being able to tell your loved one how you felt about them.

I stood at the foot of my son’s grave thinking about the memories that we had together and I realized that today is a day that he will be remembered. Today is a day that all of our loved ones will be remembered by others.

I am glad that there is a day like today. Our loved ones should not be forgotten and their memories should always be remembered.

This speech was dedicated to my son, Gaje Florence, and to all of the loved ones who have been murdered. With tears in my eyes, I walked away to where my husband was and people were coming up to me giving their condolences for the loss of my loved one but this time was different. These people are going through the same thing that I am going through.

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