Candle light ceremony held to remember victims

By Megan Kennedy

April 15, 2014

“I will remember you, will you remember me? Don’t let your life pass you by — weep not for the memories,” sang the group, Something Good, of Eaton.

The words originally sung by Sarah McLachlan resonated with those in attendance of the Preble County Victim Witness Program’s candle light ceremony at the Preble County Courthouse last week.

The ceremony hosted by Brenda Miller and Allie Shafer, was held for its sixth year in a row. Those in attendance expressed the ceremony’s ability to provide those with a sense of comfort, closure, and support.

Chief Deputy Mike Spitler opened the ceremony with words from a law enforcement perspective.

“The truth is that our emotions many times mirror those of the victims and families we assist. Anger, frustration, sadness, disappointment,” said Chief Deputy Spitler. “We must ready ourselves for anything that is handed to us from the time we begin the investigating the case until the sentence is handed down.”

“Sadly, I know tomorrow will bring more criminal investigations, more victims, lives which are forever changed, and one more memory for law enforcement to carry with us,” said Chief Deputy Spitler.

Preble County Commission President Denise Robertson read the annual proclamation: “Preble County Commissioners hereby proclaim April 6-12, 2014 as the National Crime Victim’s Rights Week in Preble County and reaffirm this county’s commitment to extend the addition to extend the addition to every victim of crime in the United States to help ensure their access to the help they deserve.”

Annette Combs spoke regarding the loss of her daughter, Brittany, who was killed while riding in a car with an impaired driver in April 2013.

“So for now, we make our journey the best that it can be for the one that watches over us from Heaven above,” said Combs.

Martin Votel, Preble County Prosecuting Attorney said, “A night like tonight gives the comfort of knowing that those losses are not suffered in isolation, that we’re not alone in our grief, and we’re not alone in our healing. A night like tonight is a reminder that our pain and our resolve are shared by the rest of our community.”

To reach the Preble County Victim Witness Program, call 937-456-9110.