HomePine Bluff newsPine Bluff community remembers homicide victims at candlelight service

Pine Bluff community remembers homicide victims at candlelight service

Pine Bluff, Arkansas – Pine Bluff community members gathered on Sunday for a somber yet uplifting candlelight service. Their intention was to reflect on and remember those who tragically lost their lives to homicide.

More than two decades ago, the candlelight service was brought to fruition by Flossie Lee, who herself is a grieving mother.

“Our family has been grappling with a multitude of challenges,” expressed Lee.

Lee conceived this initiative as a tribute to her late son Keith, who met his untimely demise in the late 1990s.

“Keith has been absent from us for 26 years, as of the past Easter,” said a mournful Lee.

Lee’s intent for this service extends beyond personal grief. She aspires to prompt recollections of the delightful times shared with the departed and catalyze change in society.

“I am compelled to create an awareness that our beloved are no more with us, but they continue to live in our memories,” emphasized Lee.

The ceremony featured the heartfelt reading of the victims’ names, inspirational words from city leaders, and an opportunity for the attendees to exchange their thoughts and feelings.

Belver Nelson, a participant who has personally experienced the loss of family members to gun violence, offered her perspective.

“Nurturing others serves as a form of self-care,” Nelson stated.

She experienced the loss of her son at the age of 25 and, a quarter-century later, faced the painful demise of her grandson.

“The pain was so intense, it left me speechless and tearless,” recounted Nelson.

Nelson attends the service to relate her personal experience in hopes of bringing solace to other families facing similar losses.

“When I attempt to impart a comforting word to others, I find myself receiving comfort,” said Nelson.

Lee, having experienced a similar pain, sends a heartfelt message of unity and hope to those enduring the sorrow of such loss.

“In navigating through this painful journey, remember that you are not solitary. We face this ordeal collectively,” Lee conveyed.

Olivia Martinez

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