Ceremony for Merced crime victims scheduled for Wednesday

vpatton@mercedsunstar.com.April 7, 2014 

The county’s annual victims’ rights ceremony is scheduled for noon Wednesday in Courthouse Park, 21st and M streets.

The event is geared to remember the victims of murder or vehicular manslaughter.

Sponsored by the Merced County District Attorney’s Victim/Witness Assistance Program, the event is part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

During the ceremony, participants place emerald green ribbons on a special tree dedicated to their loved ones. Participants are asked to bring photographs of loved ones who were victims of violence. The event also offers families who have lost loved ones to violent crimes a chance to find comfort and support from those who have had similar experiences.

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which began Sunday and runs through Saturday, is also a time to recognize those who have fought to bring awareness to the struggles of victims, survivors and their families.

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week was established by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. The event is free.

Twenty-nine homicides were reported in Merced County last year, the highest number for the county in more than two decades. Eight people have been reported as victims of homicides in the county this year.

Twenty-three people were victims of homicide in 2012 and 14 in 2011, according to Merced Sun-Star archives.

For more information about Wednesday’s event, call the Merced County District Attorney’s Office Victim/Witness Assistance Program at (209) 385-7385.

Sun-Star City Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsunstar.com.

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