Crime victims honored with flowers and prayers
BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — Families took turns tossing flowers into the lake at BREC's North Sherwood Forrest Community Park. They mourned and remembered the people they loved, and some they lost.
"You feel sad, because you really and truly miss your loved ones," Patricia Dawson, whose grandson Jordan Key was murdered in June 2012, described. "But then there is a joy that comes, because you do know that they're with God now."
It was all part of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office's third annual Flowers on the Lake event.
Raverne Laphand, lost her son Anthony to violence in 2009.
"Just want to know we miss him. We love him and he is always with us," Laphand said.
Tuesday, she honored her son's memory by helping families who's loss is still fresh. She was a tower of support for Patricia Dawson.
"We trust god to get us through everything. But without the support of each other and Christ we would never make it," Dawson explained.
Fitzgerald Batiste knows first hand how hard it can be for victims and their families.
"Come on just stand up strong. Keep on in there hang in with me," He implored.
Batiste, a former drum major at Southern University, was shot and parallelized in 2009. He said the flowers on the lake help give people the strength to go on.
"Just to let them know give them a little word of comfort. They are not alone they are not by themselves. We all got to stand together and keep our heads high," Batiste said.
Victims and their families pray Baton Rouge criminals get the message it's not to late to change.
"Violence is not the answer," Laphand stated. "Just to think if it was one of their loved ones."
"You might not want to take on life like that," Batiste described. "It's a monster out here she'll chew you up if you let her. "
So next year, there won't be any new faces to honor with a flower in the lake.
The event is part of national crime victim's rights week click here for a list of other events.