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Tennessee's Violent Crime Victims Remembered

State of Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WNOT) —Gov. Bill Haslam and first lady Crissy Haslam are hosting the 10th annual "Tennessee Season to Remember" this evening, commemorating victims who lost their lives to violent crime. The ceremony begins tonight at 5:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in downtown Nashville.

Friends and families of victims are invited to attend and hang ornaments in memory of their loved ones on memorial wreaths. After the ceremony, the wreaths will be displayed at the Tennessee Tower.

Tennessee Board of Parole spokesperson Melissa McDonald says watching victims place those ornaments is an especially poignant moment.

“It can be very, very difficult for them. You see tears, and you see deep sighs, and you see people obviously dealing with something that – even though it may have happened years and years ago – is very raw and very emotional for them."

Former first lady Andrea Conte is the guest speaker. She’s a violent crime victim and is the founder and president of a nonprofit that advocates for crime victims.

Sen. Charlotte Burks of Monterey will also make remarks. Her husband, the late Sen. Tommy Burks, was murdered in 1998.