AUGUSTA – A somber ceremony in Augusta honored some of the state’s homicide victims.
Fourteen new names are now on the Maine Murder Victims’ Memorial Monument.
On Sunday, family and friends of those whose names appear on the memorial gathered in the pouring rain to remember their loved ones and attend a re-dedication ceremony.
“We’re all here for the same reason. We all lost a loved one to the hands of someone else,” said Vance Ginn, attending the re-dedication ceremony to honor his daughter.
Arthur Jetty, Maine’s chapter leader of Parents of Murdered Children said the monument also works, “to serve as a representation or an awareness to the sheer number of murders that take place in a relatively safe state, like Maine.”
According to Jetty, about twenty murders take place in Maine every year.
The names of the people on the memorial all had some tie to Maine.
“She always came up here and we always had camps and relatives up in Maine here, so I’m glad that we have this to support me and her family that’s up here,” said Patty Tompkins, attending to remember her sister.
Names added this year included Mikaela Conley, killed in Bar Harbor, and Kendall Chick of Wiscasset.
Some family of names added previously come back year after year.
“She was added five years ago but I come here every year to support every one else that’s been here since,” said Tompkins.
For some families without a grave site, it’s the only place they have to honor their loved one.
“This is the place that my daughter’s name will be forever, so that future generations will always have someplace to go and see my daughter’s name and realize how much people cared about her,” said Ginn.
Ginn has taken action following his daughter’s death by trying to get ankle bracelet monitors as a bail condition statewide for those arrested for domestic violence.
He hopes to prevent what happened to his daughter, and give domestic violence victims a peace of mind.
Ginn will have a fundraiser in Greenville for the ankle bracelets on August 24th. He said the proposal is at a standstill right now, but he’s hoping to start by getting them for Piscataquis County.
“As long as we keep them in our minds they’re not going to die,” said Ginn.
Any surviving family members who would like their relative on the monument can reach out to Maine’s chapter of Parents of Murdered Children.