LANHAM – When someone is murdered, a family loses a mother, a father or a child. To help families who have lost a loved one, each year “So They Are Remembered” (S.T.A.R.) holds a community candlelight vigil on each Saturday before Sept. 25 to remember all of the lost victims. This commemorative day was established […]
LANHAM – When someone is murdered, a family loses a mother, a father or a child.
To help families who have lost a loved one, each year “So They Are Remembered” (S.T.A.R.) holds a community candlelight vigil on each Saturday before Sept. 25 to remember all of the lost victims.
This commemorative day was established as a result of unanimously passed resolution by the United States Senate on Oct. 16, 2007
S.T.A.R is a non-profit organization offering mentoring, tutoring, scholarships, as well as financial assistance to the families of murder victims. Over the last two years the event has been organized by Glenn and Melissa Morris and has been held at the Bryan A. Broadie Baseball Field in Lanham.
“We have helped several hundred families,” Glenn said. “About 90 percent of the families we help are from Prince George’s County.”
Denita Whittaker, who just lost her six-month-old child last week when a family member abused her, was very appreciative of S.T.A.R.
“S.T.A.R has been a big help,” she said. “They are helping us with a lot of things, things I would not know how to do.”
On March 7, 26-year-old Tareeka Jones and her sister, 22-year-old Jalisa Walls-Harris, were stabbed to death in Cheverly. Jones left behind three daughters.
“S.T.A. R has been a big help to us,” said Jones’ family members. “We need to spread the word about the organization. Every day someone loses a loved one and will need help.”
James and Jennifer Colson, the parents of Detective Jacai Colson of the Prince George’s County Police Department, who was killed in the line of duty in March during a gun battle at police headquarters in Landover, was also in attendance.
“Glenn Morris’ S.T.A.R. network was a great help in Jacai’s funeral,” Jennifer said. “I am glad they are sponsoring this in the community. It lets the community know they have a network to go to when they lose a loved one.”
Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks spoke at the vigil.
“Today we are here to ensure the ones that are gone will not be forgotten,” she said. “From 2010 to 2015, there were 436 homicides in Prince George’s County. Every day I speak to my prosecutors to remind them these are moms, dads, sons, daughters, spouses and friends and they should not be forgotten.”
At the end of the ceremony, family members of the lost loved ones gathered in a circle and held a candle each called out the name of the loved one they had lost.