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Families of violent crime victims come together, lend support

Updated: Apr. 9, 2018 at 1:16 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE (WAVE) - Gone but not forgotten. That was the message families spread in downtown Louisville on Sunday as they remembered the lives and their loved ones lost to violence in honor of National Crime Victims Rights week.

"We can't bring back our loved ones. But it brings us together as family," said Michael Lee Thomas Sr.

Thomas lost both his son, Michael Thomas Jr., and his grandson, Nicholas Thomas, to gun violence in recent years.

Faces of loved ones lost were the blood that connected families in downtown Louisville on Sunday.

"We are a family connected in pain," said Terry Zwicker, who lost his son seven years ago to gun violence.

That family, in grief, was held together by one another's support.

"As we go through our loss, they're also going through their loss. So we can continue to support one another," Thomas said. "It's meant a lot for me and to me and my family to have an extended family."

No arrests leave him with closure. But on Sunday, he was not alone.

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"This group is what keeps me going," Zwicker said. "Every time there's a situation, I will be that voice just as many of you will. And this is what makes us stronger."

Zwicker lost his son seven years ago. With that pain came a push for more answers from law enforcement, and a call to end violence in Louisville.

"We can't fix everything. But what we can do, I want to publicly commit to you that we're going to do that, because you deserve it, your loved ones deserve it," said Councilwoman Jessica Green.

"And as long as there's goodwill efforts in this community by the people standing behind me and around you, we will actually never let your voices be stifled by anybody," said Christopher 2x.

On a day to remember the loved ones lost, a release. Doves released back to the skies, a symbol of these families' tears as they look to fly to reach those they've lost. And with that release, a call to stop the violence so the circle of support doesn't need to grow and add new survivors. But if it does, they'll be waiting.

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