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More Murdered Victims Memorialised


The names of 25 more murdered victims were on Sunday added to a memorial wall erected in their honour at the New Covenant Baptist Church.

To mark the wall’s third anniversary, Senior Pastor at the church, Bishop Simeon Hall called on the families of those men and women murdered in The Bahamas to place their murdered loved one’s name on the wall as a reminder of the life they lived.

Bishop Hall hosted the family to a special church service on Sunday where they unveiled the names on the wall in a ceremony afterwards.

There are now about 200 names on the memorial wall.

“This wall was birthed out of social conscientious,” he said. “The church wanted to stand with grieving persons.”

“It’s a graphic testimony as to the tragedy of murder in the country. This is allowing people to vent and cleanse their soul for the person who was murdered. People can come here every day and they find a way to bring closure and vent their frustrations.”

The six-feet by eight-feet beige wall, which sits outside the church and along the East West Highway, is nearly covered with small rectangular plaques with the names of these murdered victims as well as the year they were born and the year they died.

At the top of the wall sits two cement doves with a cross in the middle.

Also at Sunday’s service was National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage, who said the wall signifies Bahamians’ concern about the number of murders in the country.

“I think it’s more than just a wall,” Dr. Nottage added. “I think anybody who comes here has to be adversely affected by murder. I hope the message from this wall reaches out to our young men to reflect on their lives and the things that they are doing and seek, with God’s guidance, to have a life that’s more productive.

“There’s a need for parents to take more interest in their children’s lives and for the schools to take on a greater role with the kids. We are trying our best through the Ministry of National Security to reduce violence period, because with a lot of armed robberies and shootings people are just inches away from death so the toll could be a lot higher.”

The family members of murdered victims whose names were always on the wall as well as those whose names have just been added were seen crying and consoling each other as they laid wreaths and took photos at the site.

Marilyn Smith, the mother of Arachio Smith, who was gunned down in November 2008, said although she works just a block from the wall, she always passed the memorial wall but never looked.

“The first three years were very painful,” she said. “But one day it dropped in my spirit to put him on the wall.”

“But I thank God for the strength to do it now. I just want to thank God for this message today from Pastor Simeon Hall because it touched and helped to heal us. We talk about Arachio every day.”

His sister, Tia Smith-Miller, said the mere fact that someone thought about a new way to memorialise people like her murdered brother “is an honour.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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