Cenla honors those lost to violence with candlelight vigil

In Central Louisiana, the National Day of Remembrance was marked with a candlelight vigil that was held for families who have lost a loved one to violence.
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 10:40 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - September 25 is the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims. In Central Louisiana, the day was marked with a candlelight vigil for families who have lost a loved one to violence. It was a time to remember and a time to reflect for local families that have gone through tragedy.

“We’re here in honor of my grandson, Skylar Delaney,” said Angela Delrie, grandmother of a murder victim.

“We’re here for my cousin Tucker Gibson, he was murdered on May 1 of this year,” said Jeb Mathews, cousin of a murder victim.

“Tacorious Deville Smith, known affectionately to us as ‘Charlie Man,’” said Leandra Brown, a family member of a murder victim.

The candlelight vigil was a time to focus on loved ones gone too soon.

“This vigil helps us to process the death, it helps us to know that we are not alone,” Delrie said.

Some brought pictures, others brought shoes, but everyone brought their loved one to the forefront, a reminder that life is precious.

“It’s just a nice way of getting to honor the people we were privileged to love,” Mathews said.

As the candles shined bright, their memories shined brighter together.

“This is what he loves. He loved groups of people, he loved family, he loved getting together with family and friends, and he liked bringing people together. He would love this. This keeps his memory alive,” Brown said.

“He’s a family person, he loves to be the loudest in the room. This would have been him right here, and I would love to bring justice for him, for what was done to my son,” said Latosha Simmons, mother of a murder victim.

It is also a reminder that they are not alone.

“As sad as it is, we need to lift each other up and let each other know that they are not by themselves. That there is hope, there’s always hope, and we help each other get through it,” Delrie said.

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