The 10th annual Carol McFeggan Homicide Victim Memorial Service brought together the families of homicide victims. Nearly 50 residents came to the Riverside Community Church to remember their loved ones lost to violence.
"It gives us a chance to release some more emotions to be able to share those emotions with others," said Dawn Kudlacik.
Kudlacik lost her husband, Scott Zwiefelhofer, almost 2 years ago. He was the victim of a fatal hit and run accident.
"He doesn't want us to be sad; I know he wouldn't," said Kudlacik. "He used to say he would want a party instead, so this in a sense would be like a party."
Friends and families lit candles and released balloons to honor their loved ones. Organizers say Wednesday's event was all about the victims, not their attackers.
"So many times with the violence in our community, it's murder number one or murder number nine, here it's not," said Barb Stone from the Winnebago County State's Attorney Office.
That's why Stone and the other members of the Homicide Survivors Support Group makes sure these families know their loved ones are not forgotten.
"That I love him and that I miss him dearly," said Kudlacik. "He used to say that I was too needy, I would love to hear him tell me that again cause now it's almost been 2 years I have a lot of need now."
For anyone who's lost a loved one to violence and would like to learn more about the Homicide Survivors Support Group, you can call the State Attorney's Office, Victim Services Unit at (815) 319-4700.