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Day of Remembrance set for homicide victims

Public invited to Friday ceremony featuring Oregon Attorney General John Kroger
by: PARENTS OF MURDERED CHILDREN Artist rendering of memorial to be built in Mountain View Cemetery on Oregon City.

Oregon Attorney General John Kroger will be the keynote speaker at a Friday afternoon ceremony to honor the state's murder victims.

The ceremony is at 1 p.m. at the Mountain View Cemetery, 500 Hilda St., Oregon City.

The annual National Day of Remembrance is sponsored by the Greater Portland Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children and Other Survivors of Homicide, a victims' rights organization that also counsels surviving family members.

The ceremony will also include the reading of the names of deceased loved ones, the release of 50 Monarch butterflies, the presentation of the colors, the signing of the national anthem, music, food and refreshments.

The ceremony will be held near where the chapter is planning to build the only Memorial Garden for homicide victims in the Pacific Northwest. It would be only the eighth such garden in the country.

According to chapter leader Mary Elledge, after years of fundraising, the organization is only about $15,000 from raising the $267,000 necessary to build the garden. It will be in a corner of the cemetery across the Veterans Memorial and offers a view of Mount Hood.

The memorial includes a water feature and a wall with the names of murder victims, victims of drunk and drugged drivers and police officers and firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

'The co-victims of homicide need to know that their loved ones will always be remembered,' says Elledge, whose 21-year-old son was killed in 1986.

The Portland chapter was formed 29 years ago. The organization's National Board of Trustees designated Sept. 25 as an annual 'POMC National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims' more than 12 years ago. The U.S. Senate established the date as as the 'National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims' in October 2007.

The chapter has held a ceremony at the cemetery for the last three years.