Governor LePage Honors Murder Victims

September 25, 2011

For Immediate Release: Sunday, September 25, 2011
Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531

Augusta, Maine – Governor Paul LePage proclaimed September 25, 2011, as Maine Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims during a ceremony held at the University of Maine in Augusta Sunday. The Governor issued the proclamation in support with the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.

“This observance pays tribute to the hundreds of Maine citizens who have been murdered, and acknowledges the impact on family and friends who are the survivors,” said Governor LePage. “While Maine is considered a safe place, we do experience senseless tragedies. There have been 18 homicides this year, 9 of them domestic violence related. These are not just numbers; these are mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters that are gone forever.”

Arthur Jette has been involved with the Maine Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children, the group that sponsored today’s event, since 1999, after his two-year old grandson was murdered. "We believe that it is important that we honor the memories of victims of homicide and acknowledge the unimaginable anger, pain and grief families and communities are left to contend with," says Jette.

Parents of Murdered Children provides support and assistance to all survivors of homicide victims making a difference through on-going emotional support, education, prevention, advocacy and awareness.

Nearly one hundred friends and relatives of murder victims gathered at Jewett Hall for the ceremony. In addition to Governor LePage, speakers included Maine State Police Chief Col. Robert Williams, Augusta Mayor and Criminal Division Chief of the Office of the Attorney General William Stokes, advocates of domestic violence prevention and family members of murder victims.

The text of the proclamation follows:

WHEREAS, in 2010, twenty-four homicides were reported in Maine; and

WHEREAS, there have been 18 homicides reported in Maine through August 2011; and

WHEREAS, the death of a loved one is a devastating experience, and the murder of a loved one is exceptionally difficult; and

WHEREAS, the family and friends of murder victims cope with grief through a variety of services including crisis intervention, professional referrals, counseling, and assistance in dealing with the criminal justice system; and

WHEREAS, the Maine Chapter of the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children is dedicated to helping families and friends faced with the death of a loved one by providing ongoing emotional support, individual assistance, education, advocacy and information about and guidance through the criminal justice system; and

WHEREAS, the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims on September 25 of each year provides an opportunity for the people of Maine to join with the rest of the nation, to honor the memories of murder victims and recognize the impact on surviving family members,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PAUL R. LEPAGE, Governor of the State of Maine, do hereby proclaim September 25, 2011 as

MAINE DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR MURDER VICTIMS

throughout the State of Maine, and urge all citizens to recognize this observance.