Memorial honors people killed by violent crimes

Charity Ochs's dad was killed in 1991.

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — Southwest Kansas residents found community support today. Dozens gathered to remember loved ones they lost to violent crime.

“It’s okay to be sad,” said Charity Ochs. “It’s okay to remember.”

Ochs’s dad was killed in 1991. Today was her first time at a remembrance reception for families of victims of violent crimes.

“It meant a lot,” she said. “It’s been a lot of years since I’ve lost my dad, and just seeing a community really pull together and remember.”

The Kansas Attorney General’s office has held them for years every holiday season, but today was the first one geared toward western Kansas families.

“To have an opportunity to remember their loved ones who were lost at the hands of another,” said AG Derek Schmidt, “and maybe find some support through the holidays with each other and people with a shared experience.”

While the loss is painful, the remembrance can be cathartic.

“Seeing people pull together and even though there are tears,” said Ochs, “I think that they’re happy they’re seeing their faces. It’s just a time to really come together and remember, and I think it’s kind of happy in a way.”