GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - On Friday night, those who have lost friends and family to homicide will gather in a national day of remembrance at the Courthouse Road Pier in Gulfport.
The event, which began nationally in 1984, is sponsored by the Gulf Coast Women's Center for Non-Violence.
Suzanne MaGee, who lost her brother to homicide, has coordinated the day of remembrance for at least five years.
Attendees are encouraged to bring a lounge chair and something that connects them to their loved ones. There will be moments during the ceremony to share stories, and paint names of victims on sea shells and toss them into the water.
MaGee says anywhere from 15 to 30 people show up for the event, but she expects more Friday night due to the number of homicide cases. MaGee is currently working with 42 clients who are survivors of homicide victims.
Some of those who participated in the recent candlelight vigil sponsored by the organization Women Against Violence Everywhere are expected to attend. The women's center offers services to assist victims through their grief and offers a supportive community of others who understand the loss.
Among the services, which are free and confidential include individual counseling; the support group Forever Changed; court support and advocacy; victim compensation application assistance; informational and referrals; remembrance events like this one tonight.
Mike Lacy will be covering the event and will have more on WLOX News and WLOX.com.