OREGON CITY, Ore. - This Wednesday, those touched by the murder of a loved one will pause to reflect and remember the people they have lost to violence.
Sept. 25 is a National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims and at the Mountain View Cemetery in Oregon City, it will also be a day to mark something special.
In a corner of the cemetery that was once vacant, a memorial for murdered children is now complete and will be officially dedicated on Wednesday. It's the first such memorial in the Northwest and the eighth in the United States.
The project, spearheaded by the Greater Portland Area Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children, has been four years in the making and includes the names of Washington and Oregon children who were killed. Many of the cases were high profile and the names (like Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis, for example) are recognizable. The memorial also recognizes those who died as the result of a DUII.
At last year's remembrance, Steve Doell, President of Crime Victims United, talked about how the pain of losing a loved one to murder never goes away. He lost his 12-year-old daughter to a killer two decades ago.
"This is a death, like it's been said before, like no other," he said in 2012. "Another human being took our loved one's life in a brutal, senseless act that can never be understood or explained."
Doell believes the only way for families to move on is to remember the joy and happiness that was brought into their lives, and not the violent act that took that from them.