Community Vigil Provides Comfort for Victims' Families | Community

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Community Vigil Provides Comfort for Victims' Families

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The annual Unity Plaza prayer vigil for the victims of violent crime is helping family members heal in Jacksonville.

"Her picture is right over there, and my son said the first series of pictures that he looked at, he was drawn right to her picture," said Lynda Sluder.

A hit and run driver took the life of 21-year-old Kelsey Sluder in February.

Her mother is still grieving, but said bringing the community together is helping her heal.

"I think that keeping them in the forefront of the community kinda helps people realize what's going on, and that they should be more careful, they should stand up for their community, stand up for younger people," she said.

One by one, 230 victims were honored at the ceremony Monday night, somber family members lighting candles in their honor.

Many wore t-shirts or pins commemorating the loved one they lost, though something more permanent is at the Unity Plaza to remind everyone of the lives that have been taken.

"They have the names on the concrete, the little steps. I just think that's really a nice thing for the families to keep their loved ones in everybody's memory," she said.  

Not even a year after her daughter died, Sluder says it's the small things that hold her up.

"It's kind of like we're all in this together," she said.

Police arrested 20-year-old Adam Allred in Kelsey's hit and run.





















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