Families of crime victims' plant a tree in honor of loved ones - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Families of crime victims' plant a tree in honor of loved ones

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

More than five million people were victims of crime last year in the United States.

It’s why southeast Tennessee officials are observing National Crime Victims' Rights Week.

With the planting of a tree, survivors, city and county leaders along with law enforcement took an opportunity to honor those who lost their lives to crime in Chattanooga.

"Nothing can change the crime that took place, victim advocates can assist victims from moving on from trauma and restoring their hope for healing and recovery." Said David Lane with the Tennessee Department of Correction.

In Chattanooga, families gathered on the Riverwalk Friday morning to honor their loved ones who lost their lives too soon.

"We lost my uncle do to nonsense, misunderstandings, and incompetence of disagreements and what not but it truly doesn't matter anymore because he is at rest," said Tevin Douglas.

Tevin lost his uncle, Cornelius Douglas Senior, he was killed when he was shot 10 times last April in Chattanooga.

23-year-old, Jermichael Tillery was arrested in connection to the crime. While the Douglas family waits for justice, they lean on each other and others who feel their same pain.

"Everyone who has been victimized can reconcile with each other and have understanding between each other’s different not disagree so much in a sense that leads back to violence,” said Tevin Douglas.

Names were read from the Woodmore crash as well. It was an emotional day for them and other families, each with a different story of hurt, and healing.

"It’s sad how people that is close to you that can basically be the reason for your death,” said Kimberly Douglas.

This year,10 trees are being planted across Tennessee, including a willow tree along the riverwalk in Chattanooga. It’s a monument of life that will stand forever.

"It’s memories that will forever grow, it will never die off that's why we plant and continue to plant,” said Tevin Douglas.

Over the last nine years, 80 trees have been planted in Tennessee to honor victim advocates for their work on behalf of crime victims.

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