ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Members of law enforcement and the Albany County District’s Attorney’s office held a ceremony for the victims of crime on Thursday. Grieving families found strength through the courage of those who shared their stories.
“I never thought that I would be standing here today at a ceremony of remembrance during National Crime Victim’s week,” Kimberly Philip, victim’s sister, said.
It’s not easy for Kimberly Phillips to tell the story of her brother, but she is, to show these families who clutch flowers in memory of their loved ones, that healing is possible.
“The best justice I can give him is to keep going every day and getting up and sharing his story and that’s really what I focus on.”
Robert Prior was paralyzed after he drove drunk and crashed his truck. He spent the next seven years speaking to schools about the dangers of drunk driving. That was until a drunk driver, traveling the wrong way on the Thruway killed him in 2015.
“The efforts of so many doctors and nurses couldn’t save him. You never quite understand the impact that one person can have on the world until they’re gone.”
That impact is felt at today’s crime victim’s remembrance ceremony where Albany County District Attorney David Soars wants victim’s families to reach common ground.
“A place of strength and a place of resilience and a place where you have a sense that justice has in fact taken place,” Soars said.
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, sending victim’s families a simple message, we’re here for you.
“We are here to listen to you, to help you heal, and to help you continue on,” McCoy said.
Wiping away tears, Philip is glad she found the courage to speak and pass along her strength to other grieving families.
“If you are here today, you are a survivor,” Philip said. “If you are here and you’ve made it through hell and back, and you’re still standing, we bear a different name, we are warriors.”
At the end of the ceremony, the victim’s families were asked to put their loved one’s names on American flags, which will stand at the memorial section at Academy Park.