The Battle Against Violence

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 2, 2003

Yellow ribbons show support for the troops and can be seen everywhere in a time of war. This week, though, purple ribbons are joining their company to show support for victims of violent crime.

This Friday is National Murder Awareness Day, and the purple ribbon is a way for businesses and citizens to show their support for victims of homicide.

Citizens Against Violence, a local support group, is sponsoring a program at the Vaughan-Smitherman Museum, 109 Union St., at 12:00 p.m. Friday. Susan Keith, community justice coordinator, said it will be the first time a commemoration of this kind has been held in Selma.

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Faye Lockhart, a Citizens Against Violence member, joined after losing her son, Terry Lockhart, to violence. Lockhart’s son was murdered Nov. 22, 1994, in Tallahassee, Fla.

Lockhart added that many people don’t realize it’s not just the parents affected by their child’s homicide; it’s also the brothers and sisters of the victim.

Keith agreed.

Taking the time to pause and reflect on violent crime this Friday is important because it affects all of us, Keith added.

Keith said on Friday that members of local law enforcement as well as victims will speak. Gov. Bob Riley has also been invited to the event.

Keith &045;&045; the former victim service officer for the fourth judicial circuit &045;&045; became involved in Citizens Against Violence because of her previous position. In April 2000 Keith, along with a number of victims, went to Washington, D.C., to lobby Alabama lawmakers for the national day of recognition.

Riley, a former representative for Alabama, along with senators Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions were helpful in the creation of National Murder Awareness Day, Keith said.

The ceremony is open to the public.