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Memorials ensure the slain and their families aren’t forgotten

Minnie McCall of Gulfport places a photograph of her daughter Katrina Sargent next to the Forever Changed Memory Wall during the National Crime Victims Rights Week ceremony in 2012. Sargent was murdered in 2009.
Minnie McCall of Gulfport places a photograph of her daughter Katrina Sargent next to the Forever Changed Memory Wall during the National Crime Victims Rights Week ceremony in 2012. Sargent was murdered in 2009. Sun Herald File

Homicide victims and their families won’t be forgotten this week, when the public is invited to attend two memorial celebrations in Gulfport.

Strength, Resilience and Justice is the theme for this year’s annual candlelight ceremony sponsored by the District Attorney’s Office in Gulfport. The office prosecutes criminal cases in Harrison, Hancock and Stone counties.

The ceremony will be at 11 a.m. Friday at First Baptist Church of Gulfport, 12190 U.S. 605. A reception starts at 10:30 a.m.

The program also will celebrate the work of service providers, and highlight the importance of communities responding to crime and the ongoing healing of crime victims and survivors of the slain, DA Joel Smith said. A law enforcement victim advocate and a community victim advocate also will be honored. For details, call 228-435-4003.

Autumn Bolden-Smith sang and spoke briefly of her experience as a sexual assault victim in April 2016 at a National Crime Victims' Rights Week program at First Baptist Church of Gulfport.

At last year’s program, Autumn Bolden-Smith, 14, sang and spoke of how she was sexually assaulted at age 11, and now wants to encourage other victims to tell someone so they can get help.

Under His Wings — KRB Foundation will host a memorial ceremony Friday night at the Good Deeds Community Center, 15101 Madison Street. It starts at 7 p.m.

Lester and Latasha Bryant founded the group earlier this year. Their son, Keon Rashod Bryant, was shot to death in Gulfport on March 24, 2015.

The foundation also will hold a grief workshop Saturday. For details, call 228-617-9400 or email Underhiswingskrb@yahoo.com.

Both programs are held in conjunction with National Crime Victims Rights Week, an observance that runs through Saturday.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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