Wiregrass Newsroom: Candlelight vigil honors those lost in violent crimes - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Wiregrass Newsroom: Candlelight vigil honors those lost in violent crimes

Roses lay on a table at First Presbyterian Church in Dothan reminding victims their loved ones nor they are forgotten. Roses lay on a table at First Presbyterian Church in Dothan reminding victims their loved ones nor they are forgotten.

Reporter: Melissa McKinney

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) -- A candlelight vigil in Dothan gave folks the chance to remember loved ones killed in violent crimes. VOCAL, a support group for victims of violent crimes, held the memorial service.

It comes just days after Headland Police Officer Dexter Hammond was killed during a standoff between a gunman and local law enforcement in Headland. 

But Mary Hayes deals with tragic loss everyday.

"My brother was killed April 11, 2006 in Headland, AL," says Hayes.

After losing her brother, she was shocked to hear of a standoff in the same town where her brother was murdered.

"My heart goes out to those families. I sympathize with them."

And the vigil was a chance for her to do just that...sympathize.  After the Headland tragedy, it's something Henry County Sheriff, Will Maddox, says makes him stronger.

"When you see these victims of violent crimes here, and the emotions that are here, it makes you feel good about the job you do."

The ceremony gave folks the the opportunity to thank local law enforcement for protecting, serving and prosecuting.

Before it was over Attorney General Troy King reassured victims they aren't forgotten.

"Violent crime may be a reality today, but we don't have to accept it. We're going to continue to band together, we're going to continue to support each other, we're going to pray for each other, and we're going to continue to pray for a day where there will be no more violent crime."

It's something Mary and so many others would love to see. But for now, friends and family lean on each other.  And Mary takes each day one at a time.  

"Today I didn't cry. I smiled."

 

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