AUGUSTA – Today, Governor Paul LePage and First Lady Ann LePage took part in the Maine Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims ceremony at the University of Maine in Augusta. The annual event is organized by the Maine Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children. At the ceremony, the Governor issued a proclamation declaring September 25, 2012 as the Maine Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.
“Today’s observance pays tribute to the hundreds of Maine citizens who have been murdered, and acknowledges the impact on family and friends who are the survivors,” said Governor LePage. “While Maine is considered a safe place, we do experience senseless tragedies. There have been 14 homicides this year, 5 of them domestic violence related. These are not numbers; these are mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters that are gone forever. Today we remember the loved ones that were taken too soon.”
Arthur Jette, the Maine Chapter Leader of Parents of Murdered Children, has been involved with the organization since 1999, after his two-year old grandson was murdered. “We believe that it is important that we honor the memories of victims of homicide and acknowledge the unimaginable anger, pain and grief families and communities are left to contend with,” says Jette.
Parents of Murdered Children provides support and assistance to all survivors of homicide victims making a difference through on-going emotional support, education, prevention, advocacy and awareness.
Dozens of friends and relatives of murder victims gathered at the Randall Student Center for the ceremony. In addition to Governor LePage, speakers included Maine Attorney General William Schneider, Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit Commanding Officer Lt. Christopher Coleman, Augusta Mayor and Criminal Division Chief of the Office of the Attorney General William Stokes, advocates of domestic violence prevention, and family members of murder victims.
The text of the proclamation follows:
WHEREAS, in 2012, there have been 14 homicides reported in Maine through August 2012, including 5 domestic violence murders; and
WHEREAS, the death of a loved one is a devastating experience, and the murder of a loved one is exceptionally difficult; and
WHEREAS, the family and friends of murder victims cope with grief through a variety of services including crisis intervention, professional referrals, counseling, and assistance in dealing with the criminal justice system; and
WHEREAS, the Maine Chapter of the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children is dedicated to helping families and friends faced with the death of a loved one by providing ongoing emotional support, individual assistance, education, advocacy and information about and guidance through the criminal justice system; and
WHEREAS, the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims on September 25 of each year provides an opportunity for the people of Maine to join with the rest of the nation, to honor the memories of murder victims and recognize the impact on surviving family members,
NOW, THEREFORE, I, PAUL R. LEPAGE, Governor of the State of Maine, do hereby proclaim September 25, 2012 as
MAINE DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR MURDER VICTIMS throughout the State of Maine, and urge all citizens to recognize this observance.
September 25, 2012