District attorneys transition 25th annual memorial to drive-in service

A drive-in memorial service for victims of violent crime was held Friday

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - It was a night for remembrance in downtown Wilmington as the district attorney’s offices for the 5th and 13th districts hosted the 25th annual homicide and victims of violent crime memorial service for families in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties.

“One of the byproducts of this COVID-19 pandemic has been social isolation and particularly for those who are experiencing the loss of a loved one, now more than ever you need a community of sufferers who can understand what it means to get that knock on the door at three in the morning,” said District Attorney Jon David.

The candlelight service is usually held in a church or community center and is attended by hundreds of people but because of the pandemic, the entire program was pre-recorded and families were invited to participate in a drive-in viewing.

Amber Rowe and Irene Rowell, lost parents:

“It really means a lot to us because there’s a lot of people out there that don’t really care,” said Amber Rowe. She and her sister, Irene, lost their parents this year.

The program was also simul-cast online and staff for the district attorney’s offices visited families who did not plan to attend earlier in the day delivering flowers and programs so they too know they aren’t forgotten.

“While the format is very different this year, the message remains the same,” David said. “We stand for victims’ families. We stand against violence and we’re uplifting the memories of those who’ve been lost in violent crime.”

WECT’s Jon Evans serves as emcee of this event every year.

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