GULFPORT (WLOX) -- For some, it's a form of closure. For others, it's a celebration and a way to honor the men and women who bring justice to our communities. Thursday, the National Crime Victim's Rights Coalition held a candlelight ceremony.
Gene Fitts lost his mother in November 2006.
"My mom, to me, was the greatest person I'll ever know," Fitts said.
She was murdered in her Broadmoor home. So was her neighbor Anthony Caranna, just days later. This ceremony is a tribute to both.
"It's also another way to celebrate and give thanks to the people who have put their lives on the line out there to go out there and solve these vicious crimes that are perpetrated on families," Fitts said.
Keynote speaker, Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr said, "We don't necessarily know all our heroes, but they work for us every day, and they work for someone like us every day in work that is hard to comprehend."
Thursday's ceremony was a way for these victims to thank law enforcement for bringing closure to their lives.
"Because really they're the ones out there doing it for us. It makes me think a little big more about what they go through every day," Nunzio Caranna said.
"And that's what community is all about, to be able to work together and to have a great police department that went out there and did their due diligence on solving this crime. We're forever more thankful for that," Fitts said.
And the message behind it all is hope.
"Well, you know, you always remembered what happened, but if you can, deal with it in a healthy way. And that's what many of them have done, to see what they can do to help others," District Attorney Cono Caranna said.
"Next year, I'll probably be here to see who they're honoring and maybe feel for that family as well," Nunzio Caranna said.
"It's just very comforting to know that you don't have to go through this by yourself. And that there are people that are ready willing and able to help you," Fitts said.
The annual ceremony is part of National Crime Victim's Rights Week. It represents the victim assistance programs available in Harrison, Hancock, and Stone Counties.
By Meggan Gray
Pre-K and kindergarteners in George County School District are all heading to ride the Polar Express this week, and Tuesday's ride was reserved for a special group of kiddos in the district.More >>
The steel frame of the new wing of the George Co. Regional Health Complex is a tangible sign that those renovations are nearing completion.More >>
One adult died and two children were injured after a wreck in front of East Hancock Elementary School Tuesday night. It happened as the school's annual Christmas program was underway.More >>
Christmas, it is the season to be jolly. The season to be happy and giving. The season to get some days off from work. But we don't think anyone would disagree that as much as anything, 'tis the season to be driving and heavy traffic. It seems that everybody is on the streets as we count down the days for Christmas shopping.More >>
When Scott Hawkins crossed the Gulf Coast Marathon finish line, his wife was waiting for him wearing a Boston Red Sox shirt. His finish time qualified him for the Boston Marathon. But two days later, everything changed.More >>
A Walker woman testified in court Tuesday in the case where she and her then boyfriend, Jace Crehan, 23, reportedly broke into the trailer of her convicted molester back in 2015 and murdered him.More >>
Netflix Originals including Grace and Frankie and Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee arrive to the streaming service in January.More >>
The man who started the GoFundMe for a bullied Tennessee boy is calling on donors to decide what to do with the money raised.More >>
Democrat Doug Jones is going to the U.S. Senate after pulling together an unusual alliance in a Deep South state dominated by Republicans.More >>
Authorities said Christopher Bowen's mother confined him to wheelchair at various times, and at times, he was fed through a tube in his small intestine.More >>
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said the results in the U.S. Senate special election will be certified between Dec. 26 and Jan. 3.More >>
A vehicle and another body have been found in the south-central Louisiana lake where a Shreveport woman's body was found. And authorities have identified the woman.More >>
An Olive Branch woman is spreading holiday cheer to those who work extra hard this time of year to make sure your Christmas presents arrive on time.More >>
The 12-year-old who left the voicemail will be referred to a program where he’ll be educated about bullying in hopes of avoiding the criminal court system.More >>
Two thieves who were caught on camera macing and stunning Victoria Secret employees during an armed robbery are being sought by Mandeville police.More >>