Seeing red to raise violence awareness

Published 9:57 pm Friday, August 3, 2018

Carver Memorial Mausoleum and Cemetery at 2320 E. Washington St. will host its first National Night Out event this Tuesday to help stop the violence in Suffolk.

The cemetery will collaborate with T.E. Cooke-Overton Funeral Home, Crocker Funeral Home and Harris Funeral Home to bring attention to the victims of violence for Suffolk’s 35th National Night Out, an annual event that encourages neighbors to fight crime by building relationships with local law enforcement and each other.

Roughly 100 red “Stop the Violence” balloons will be available for survivors to pay their respects to loved ones who were killed by violent crimes, and all are welcome to come pay their respects, Executive Manager Gail Turner said in a phone interview.

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Representatives of the Suffolk Police Department, Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, Suffolk Sheriff’s Office, Suffolk Fire & Rescue and others will be there to provide information on resources available for grief management and crime reporting and deterrence, according to a press release from Carver.

Turner explained that she and neighbor Margaret Barnes came up with the idea to help raise awareness for those grieving by marking each headstone of somebody who died violently with a red balloon.

“While we are in the business of interring and entombing deceased people, we are in no hurry for people to die and would prefer that unnecessary, violent crime-caused deaths not ever happen,” Turner stated in the press release. “It is disheartening to see the young people carrying the coffins of their peers across the grounds of the cemetery.”

Those that have a loved one at Carver who died from a violent crime but can’t attend can authorize staff to place balloons at the grave site on their behalf. Balloons can also be reserved for pickup this Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Call 539-9902 for more information.