Families gathered outside of the City County Building in Knoxville on Tuesday to remember their loved ones in honor of National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.
The group Hope for Victims, described by members as “a group that you don’t want to belong to,” is made up of families who lost loved ones because of murder.
“I could search forever but there’s no words to tell you how this affects your life, your life is forever changed,” said Joan Berry, one of the group’s founders.
Berry lost her 21-year-old daughter Johnia Berry 14 years ago. Today, she hopes the group she started will help others cope with their own loses, and even make change in legislature.
“That’s our new way of life. I just hope that people remember that we need to work together and do the best we can,” said Berry.
Others are coming to an event with families for the first time.
“We know we’re not alone anymore. We felt so alone, it feels good that we know what everyone’s going through. There’s other people going through just like us,” said Marie Harmon.
Harmon’s daughter, Shanna Harmon, was shot and killed in May 2017. Her parents say they are still working to get justice for her murder. They’re hopeful that group support in public events like this will give them strength.