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Sunday, April 6, 2014 - 5:10pm
El Paso (KDBC) — A bell was rung 1,468 times Sunday at the Crime Victims’ Memorial Service as each name engraved on the memorial was read off.
The annual service kicked off national crime victims’ awareness week.
“The reading of the names, it’s special,” said Jaime Esparza, district attorney. “It’s solemn but it’s really not just our way of paying respect but celebrating their lives.”
Dora Villanueva and her family were at the ceremony to celebrate the life of her son Isaiah. Two-year-old Isaiah was killed by blunt force trauma two years ago, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend.
“Deep down in my heart I know I have three kids, but when I wake up I only see two,” Villanueva said.
Despite the time that has passed, she said coping with the reality of the death of her son is still difficult.
She also said the way he died makes it even harder.
“When I know that I’m coming into reality, it’s when it hurts the most. Because I know he's not here. And sometimes i just don't want to wake up,” Villanueva said.
The annual victims’ memorial ceremony serves as a day to remember the victims. However, it’s also a symbol of the support that exists throughout the community whether it is a recent tragedy or one that happened years ago.
“We come together as a family but we are here to speak to other families that are going through the same thing. it gives us a little bit of comfort. It is hard for us to know that we don't see my daughter anymore,” said Margie Quijano, mother of a crime victim.
Thirty-nine new names were added to the wall in the past year, including five-month-old Jackson Farrey, whose body is believed to have been found in New Mexico last November.
While the crimes and ages of the victims all vary, everyone in attendance was there for one thing, keeping the memory of the loved ones alive.