Vigil to be held Monday for violent crimes victims

20 victims honored at 18th Annual Unity Plaza Candlelight Vigil

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The families of 20 young victims of violence will gather Monday night to remember their loved ones at Terry Parker High School. It's the 18th Annual Unity Plaza Candlelight Vigil, put on by the group called Compassionate Families Inc.

The goal of the vigil is to honor the victims by engraving their names onto bricks that have been added to the walkway.

For Shica Dixon, the pain of losing her nephew D'Quan Armstrong to a hit-and-run driver two months ago is still very real. For her family, it brings some comfort knowing that his life and memory will be honored at Unity Plaza at Terry Parker.

"It's very hard because it still seems surreal that he's no longer with us," Dixon said. "It's very comforting to know that you have a lot of support and there are people out there who care about victims that actually have been killed. Especially young kids. He was just a child, only 14 years old."

Family and friends gathering for the event will honor 19 other young victims as well, victims like Cherish Perrywinkle, Jordan Davis, Jazmine Shelton and Megan Simmons. Their names are engraved on bricks that have been added to the walkway.

Remembering young victims of violence is something very personal for Glen Mitchell, one of the organizers for the event. His son, Jeff, was killed at Terry Parker High School in 1993.

"There are other children who are lost every day that you don't even hear about," Mitchell said. "They are just as important, and that's what we want to stress. All of our children are important to this community."

Dixon said her entire family will be there for the event, and she looks forward to meeting other surviving family members. Her hope is that people will remember D'Quan for who he was.

"Just want everybody to remember the good times," Dixon said.

The vigil starts at 6 p.m.

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