TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas Attorney General’s Office will stream a virtual ceremony Thursday afternoon to honor victims of violent crime.
There are normally four “Crime Victims Remembrance Receptions” held across the state, but those were cancelled this year due to the pandemic.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said he wants the families of victims to know that their pain has not been forgotten this year.
“Having a loved one taken from you is different from having a loved one otherwise lost,” Schmidt said. “Both are very painful, but a different sort of experience… especially around the holidays that can be so hard when there is that empty seat at the table.”
Normally, victim’s families will bring in ornaments with their loved one’s picture on it. These are hung on two big Christmas trees. Since they won’t be meeting in person, Schmidt said that won’t be included in this year’s ceremony, but he said they plan to continue the tradition next year.
These yearly receptions also give families of victims of violent crime a chance to gather together. Schmidt said he hopes they can still offer some support this year.
“It won’t be the same because of course it is virtual,” Schmidt said. “It will none the less be an opportunity for us to connect with families and surviving loved ones, to have available the opportunity to talk if they wish to with counselors or social workers.”
The pre-recorded ceremony will be available to stream on YouTube starting at 2:00 p.m. Thursday. Those who wish to talk to someone live can call 800-828-9745 or 785-291-3950 and be connected to a victim advocate.