A tree lighting is held each year in St. Joseph as a way for families and friends to remember loved ones who were victims of violent crime.
For several years, the Buchanan County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has hosted the Victim Memorial Tree Lighting on the courthouse lawn. Prosecuting Attorney’s Office Victim Advocate Leslie Lane says the ceremony is a way, outside of the legal system, to show support for the families and friends of victims.
"A lot of us can look forward to the holidays and be excited about it, but when something tragic like this happens to somebody and Thanksgiving and Christmas come around, it’s hard because they’re not there with them and it’s just our way of continuing to show support and comfort to the victim’s families and friends."
Lane says anyone is welcome to come and is invited to bring an ornament to place on the tree.
"I think it’s a great way to, even if you don’t have a family member or friend that passed in a tragic way, it’s a good way to show support for others in the community so that we can bond and try to stay strong."
The Victim Memorial Tree Lighting takes place at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday outside on the north side of the courthouse at 411 Jules Street in St. Joseph.