NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — For the first time in three years, an in-person ceremony will be held to honor the victims and survivors of homicide. Since 2002, state and local public safety officials, along with families of homicide victims, have gathered to honor those lost to the victim crime during the holiday season.
2022 will mark Tennessee’s 20th annual “Tennessee Season to Remember.” The ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1 at First Baptist Church in downtown Nashville. Families and friends of victims who lost their lives to violent crime are invited to attend. This year will be the first time the event has been held in person since 2019. It will also be live-streamed on the First Baptist Church’s YouTube page.
This year’s keynote speakers are Penny and Donnie Fox, whose brother and brother-in-law Mark Nelson was killed by a drunk driver on July 15, 2013, in Claiborne County. Governor Bill Lee will deliver pre-recorded remarks and former First Lady Andrea Conte, the founder of Tennessee Season to Remember, will speak during the ceremony. Kate Blair, a recent Belmont graduate and professional singer with Nashville-based 12 South Band, will also give a musical tribute.
During the ceremony, families from across the state will hang ornaments in honor of their loved ones on memorial wreaths. The wreaths will be displayed in the Tennessee State Capitol throughout the holiday season. The state’s capitol will also be lit in purple to honor homicide victims and The Korean Veterans Bridge will be lit on Dec. 2 following the event.
This year’s event was organized with help from the Tennessee Board of Parole, Tennessee Department of Correction, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the office of Secretary of State Tre Hargett, the office of State Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, the office of State Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr., Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, Tennessee Department of Finance & Administration’s Office of Criminal Justice Programs, Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference, and the Tennessee Rehabilitative Initiative in Correction (TRICOR). Victim advocacy group You Have the Power, U.S. Attorney’s Office Middle District of Tennessee and the Davidson County District Attorney General’s Office also offered support.