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National day of remembrance to converge in OC

Mt. View Cemetery has only memorial for victims locally -

More than 6,000 people are murdered every 10 weeks nationwide, and that number includes vehicular homicide. Since 1978, there have been more than 600,000 homicides in the United States.

Since the start of nonprofit survivor-support organization Parents Of Murdered Children that year, eight memorials have been established in the United States, and the Northwest’s only memorial wall is in Oregon City. It has about 500 names on it after 70 were added this year.

Everyone is invited to join victim assistance workers, district attorneys and politicians National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims at 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25.

At Oregon City’s Mountain View Cemetery, 500 Hilda St., Parents Of Murdered Children will host 700-plus attendees at a barbecue after its program that includes speakers, music, presentation of the colors, a memorial tribute and the reading of victims’ names.

In 2009, Parents Of Murdered Children honored the nationally recognized day for the first time at the site of the current POMC Memorial Wall in Oregon City at Mountain View Cemetery. Washington state joined in the endeavor to build the wall, and its completion was celebrated last year.

“Our loved ones’ names inscribed on granite will be a tribute to their lives and the fact that we will not forget,” said local POMC chapter leader Mary Elledge. “We are in the process of fundraising to build another wall for listing more names. It will be built close to the current wall.”

Although POMC chapters have been celebrating the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims”since 1999, U.S. Rep. John Shadegg (R-Arizona) introduced Resolution 223 to establish Sept. 25 as an officially recognized date. It was co-sponsored by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) and passed in May 2007. Feeling that it would be appropriate and beneficial for all survivors to have a special day to remember, POMC founders Robert and Charlotte Hullinger chose the anniversary date of their daughter's murder. In October 2007, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn’s bipartisan resolution, co-sponsored by Sen. Jon Kyle (R-Arizona), and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), establishing the National Day of Remembrance.

Clackamas County District Attorney John Foote recently said, “In a unique and beautiful way, the Oregon/Washington Memorial Wall will provide solace to families and friends of victims, while at the same time affirming the spirit of humanity that endures and to which we dedicate ourselves.”

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