The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office Victim-Witness Unit and the Victims of Violent Crime of San Joaquin County jointly held a tree-lighting ceremony in honor of victims of violence.
The event, held Thursday (Dec. 5) evening at Weber Point, drew about 200 to 300 people.
Families of victims were provided tree ornaments to hang on a tree in memory of their loved one.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Ron Freitas said there was a mix of families whose cases have been adjudicated and families whose cases are still pending.
For those with pending cases, Freitas said: “I think it gave them hope that someday their loved ones killer will be brought to justice.”
The event, he said, “is a tribute to their loss. And I think it gives them hope that things will get better and our community will get better and help is on the way.
The event featured speeches from a local chaplain and from Supervising Deputy District Attorney Michael Mulvihill.
Participants walked in procession around the block after the program.
The DA’s Office provided hot chocolate and cookies.
“The holidays are real tough times to be without loved ones,” Freitas said. And although, the event has a somber aspect to it, Freitas said, people were very positive about the changes to come.
PHOTOS PROVIDED COURTESY OF MIKE MULVIHILL: