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Annual Honor Programs

2020 Garden of Peace Honor Program Goes Virtual 

The annual Honor Program will be held virtually on Thursday, September 24 at 5:30pm. We'll commerate victims and support survivors with Honor Program traditions and look forward to adding new elements to make this year's program meaningful, even though we won't physically be together in the Garden. Please monitor the website late summer for more information. 

2019 Annual Honor Program

On the beautiful autumn evening of September 19th, MOVA was privileged to host the annual Honor Program. As is custom, Mike and Dylan Verge opened the program with Mike’s original composition The Garden, composed and recorded for the first Garden of Peace Honor Program in 2004. The Verges were joined in the chorus by the youth of Boston City Singers, a group whose predecessors also participated in that very first 2004 Honor Program.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey welcomed the Garden community with a reminder of why all were gathered: to remember loved ones lost to violence, to de-stigmatize the experience of survivors, and to re-commit to ending violence. AG Healey introduced the new Garden of Peace Advisory Committee: Christine Abrams, survivor and former Garden of Peace Board member; Danielle Bennett, survivor and service provider; Chris Dempsey, survivor; Lisa McCue, survivor and service provider; and Beatrice Nessen, former Garden of Peace Board member. Later, for Reading of the Names, the Advisory Committee read aloud the 34 victims’ names engraved in the Garden this year.  

MOVA Executive Director Liam Lowney noted the diversity of the Garden community with respect to background, geography, victim/survivor experience, time elapsed since loss from recently to many years ago. And yet, there’s the significant shared experience of tragic loss to violence. Liam spoke of MOVA’s privilege to be newly entrusted with the Garden’s stewardship and underscored MOVA’s commitment to seek out, listen to, and advocate for victims’ and survivors’ voices to be heard. The Keynote Speaker was Rev. Liz Walker, senior pastor of the 133-year-old Roxbury Presbyterian Church, home to the Cory Johnson Trauma Program for Post-Traumatic Healing. Rev. Walker spoke movingly and inspirationally in reminding the Garden community we’re not alone, and encouraging us to find hope in one another and in community.

Advisory Committee member and Survivor Speaker Lisa McCue, shared her grace in heartbreak with words of remembrance for her brother Kevin, “the protector.” She described her family’s experiences—shared by so many others—in the aftermath of murder and in the two decades since, including for Lisa, a career helping victims of crime. Boston City Singers closed the program on an uplifting note, with three spirited South African folk songs about Peace.

Click here to see the 2019 program book and here for the 2019 program of events.

View photos from the 2019 Honor Program here. 2019 photos by Christine Lavoie.  

 

PRIOR HONOR CEREMONIES

Read the speeches, watch videos and see photos from prior years:

 

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