Published 1:47 pm Friday, April 22, 2005
By By JOHN EBY / Cassopolis Vigilant
CASSOPOLIS - Wind-whipped blue and silver balloons fired off like line drives last Wednesday noon in memory of 52 victims who lost their lives due to crime in Cass County since 1989.
About 30 people, including the parents of Matthew Anderson, killed last April, attended the annual lunchtime ceremony at the flagpole in front of the Law and Courts Building on M-62. Inside, poster contest entries from Cassopolis students were on display.
April 10-16 marked the 25th anniversary of National Crime Victims' Rights Week.
Prosecutor Victor Fitz said, "Keep in mind that these are not just names on a piece of paper. Each of these names represents someone who was once flesh and blood like us, someone who had family and friends, someone who is now gone."
Bill Bruneau, Cass County Sheriff's Office chaplain, prayed, "Father, we've come here this afternoon for, as I see it, two reasons: to remember those who have suffered at the hands of someone or who died tragic deaths. We're also here to celebrate the fact that those who are standing in this circle committed their lives to making a difference.
Twenty-five years ago, President Ronald W. Reagan declared the first National Crime Victims' Rights Week to pay tribute to crime victims and to recognize the devastating impact of violence on individuals, communities and our nation as a whole.
Sheriff Joseph M. Underwood, Jr. notes that justice is continually served in Cass County through victim assistance programs that identify and address the immediate-, short- and long-term needs of crime victims and survivors.