2016 Annual Honor Program
Thursday, September 15, 2016
On September 15, 2016, at the annual Honor Program, hundreds of friends and family members gathered for a somber remembrance as 39 names were added to the Garden of Peace, A Memorial to Homicide Victims in Massachusetts.
"Behind every name in the Garden is a loved one, who has been taken from us too soon due to senseless violence," said Katia Santiago-Taylor, Board Chair. "It is important that we honor the lives they lived - instead of only remembering their tragic deaths. By uniting as community and sharing our loved ones with each other, we ask the world to remember their legacy as we work together toward creating peace."
The keynote address was given by Ed Davis, former Boston Police Commissioner and Lowell Police Superintendent. Attorney General Maura Healey served as Master of Ceremonies, and Courtney Grey Mark, a Trainer of Trainers of Psychological First Aid with specialty in addressing disaster behavioral health in underserved communities, spoke to the impact of violence on families, friends, first responders and entire communities.
Among the readers of the 39 names, two members of the K9 First Responders were in attendance. Brad Cole, Executive Director with his dog/partner Spartacus and Rebecca Coburn, CPP, CPHA, Boston Area Coordinator with her dog/partner Bernie. Cole established the K9 First Responders after he and Spartacus responded to the Sandy Hook Shootings, and thereafter Brad formed the K-9 First Responders. Taishano Lewis, a Boston EMT and daughter of a police officer, was also one of the readers. She was inspired to become a first responder after an EMT saved her brother who was shot in a drive by.