Roses tossed to honor violent crime victims

The Justice Coalition held Tossing of the Roses at Jacksonville Landing

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Family members honored the memories of loved ones who lost their lives to violent crime Downtown Monday evening.

The Justice Coalition organized a ceremony held at the Jacksonville Landing, called Tossing of the Roses.

There were so many faces at the ceremony and those same people shared a message beyond a T-shirt or a poster.
They share that they care with a single flower and by speaking the name they love.

One of the ways people remembered lives lost is the Tossing of the Roses. Each family member receiving a rose to send into the St. Johns River at the right time.

Not every family was at the same place in the process of grieving.

"He was the first homicide of the week of January the 26th. No one knows who killed him. But I ask that person, ‘Look there's so many live that you've ruined,’" said Maria Davis.

Malcolm Anthony Davis was killed by gunfire a few months ago and his family is still reeling from the loss.  His mother, Maria, was still inconsolable -- while surrounded by a group tied together in loss.

“Cause there's so many people I don't even know them, can't even call them by name. They don't know me, couldn't even call me by name. But guess what. We all share a common bond. It's called you took our loved one way too soon. You didn't even ask our permission. You just took it upon yourself, " Maria Davis said.

The father of Daniel Rowe said he appreciated the tragic togetherness and the work of the organizers. Daniel was shot and killed outside of the Blind Rabbit in Riverside last July.

“It's amazing. The Justice Coalition does pretty great things for everybody and for the victims' families. Without them, some of us wouldn't get as close to closure as we would. So it's a blessing, it really is. They're angels," said Steven Rowe.

Following songs and short statements about the efforts to find closure, family members lined up along the river and cast their rose out onto the water.

“I mean, it’s amazing and my family is all out here. We're all working together to heal the best we can," said Steven Rowe.

This is the second Tossing of the Roses event put together by the Justice Coalition.

State Attorney Angela Corey gave the group and its leader, Ann Dugger, credit for helping victims of violent crime in five northeast Florida counties.

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