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Garden's Honor Program in Boston Globe

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bereaved by violence, 500 gather for tribute
By Gabrielle T. Dunn
Globe Correspondent / September 19, 2008

Among the 500 people at Boston's Garden of Peace last night, Patrick Frye's family stood out in their yellow T-shirts.


Frye was fatally stabbed at a party in Lowell a year ago, and the 20-year-old's relatives honored the man they called "PFritty" by donning bright shirts with his signature on the front and his favorite catchphrases on the back.

His most popular: "It's a wrap. I love you too. Peace out."

Forty-six new memorial stones were placed in the garden at the fourth annual Program to Honor Homicide Victims, as families and friends gathered on Cambridge Street to remember and pay tribute to those lost to violence.

Some wore shirts with their loved one's face. Others cried and hugged as eight people took turns reading aloud the names of the most recent victims.

Among the new stones was one for slain Northeastern student Rebecca Payne, a 22-year-old Connecticut native who was shot in her Mission Hill apartment in May. Her father, Nicholas, said he and his wife placed a photo of their daughter and a dozen candles on her stone, which was donated by Rebecca's boyfriend, Shane Yeomans.

Although moved by the memorial, Payne said he did not feel it brought him closure on his daughter's still unsolved killing.

"Becca has a stone; certain things happen to make it better, but there is no such thing as closure," he said. "A loss of a child never heals."

After the ceremony, Loretta Jacobs placed one of the 15 white plastic candles on the stone for her 16-year-old grandson Terrance, who was fatally stabbed last year. Jacobs, of Boston, said she hopes the memorial will help curb the city's violence.

"He was vibrant," said Jacobs, who also attended the event last year. "A young boy should have never died the way he did."

Kim Odom, mother of Steven Odom, a 13-year-old who was shot just blocks from his home in Dorchester, called the garden "a place of serenity and comfort" as the one-year anniversary of her son's death loomed.

"The sound of gunshots and the vision of my son laying on the ground is still very vivid," she said. She quoted a sentence her son had written in his journal before he was killed: "I believe our community can come together in peace."

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