Cleveland Strangler victims honored during memorial service - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Cleveland Strangler victims honored during memorial service, dove release

He's been sentenced to die but for family members of the victims of Cleveland Strangler Anthony Sowell Labor Day was about keeping their loved ones' memories alive.

"It was very touching, I'm still a little choked up," said family member Donnita Carmichael.

"One Thousand Balloons for the Angels of Imperial Avenue", a memorial service, dove release and balloon launch to honor the eleven women who were slain on Cleveland's Imperial Avenue, was part of the activities of the 40th annual Eleventh Congressional District Community Caucus Labor Day Parade and Festival at Luke Easter Park Monday. 

"This is my daughter and this was my niece," said Florence Bray.

The memorial event was initiated by Marcella Boyd Cox, Chief Marketing Officer for the E.F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home and Crematory. "The legal system has performed its duties, and it is now time to return our focus to the victims or "Angels" who died on Imperial Avenue. The goal, to release 500 to 1,100 balloons and eleven doves to honor their spirits," Cox proclaimed. Festival attendees were asked to volunteer to participate in the launch of the individual balloons.

Eleventh District Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge eagerly embraces honoring the victims. "I want the final memory of this tragedy to be of the humanity and dignity of the slain women. People all over the world will know that our district values the worth of all human beings."

Megan O'Bryan, President/CEO of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center looks forward to the event as a teachable moment. "This balloon launch will communicate the message that violence against women is not tolerated. Many people will change perceptions and behaviors because of this event. We are working to build a community where far fewer women will be victims of violence."

Marcia L. McCoy, Executive Director of Community Covenant Oversight Team assisted in coordinating the sacred balloon release by reaching out to the victims' families. "I'm grateful that God placed the idea for this memorial on the heart of Marcella Boyd. She is sincere in her plans to bring peace and healing to our community by galvanizing business owners, clergy, civil rights organizations, elected officials, activists, community leaders and others to support the 11 families."

Kaye Gaines of Gaines Funeral Home stated, "I feel that the eleven family members will feel some relief by releasing their emotions up to the heavens by way of the balloons and the lily white doves. We hope that the release of the balloons and doves will share this sense of healing and peace with the entire world," said Ms. Gaines.

The goal of the balloon release was to show community support for the eleven slain angels and their families. Specific objectives include: Increased awareness of violence against women; Solidarity with the families of the eleven victims; Spiritual bond with the eleven victims; and Empowerment to take actions for a safer, stronger community. The balloons will be made of biodegradable latex.

The Eleventh District Caucus Parade and Festival is an annual Labor Day tradition that was begun by former Cleveland mayor, Carl Stokes, and his brother, former 21st and 11th District Congressman Louis Stokes, 40 years ago. In addition to the balloon launch, this year's festival  featured a special tribute to Congressman Louis Stokes.

Copyright 2011 WOIO. All rights reserved.

  • East Texas NewsMore>>

  • Defense questions investigator in third day of Henderson trial

    Defense questions investigator in third day of Henderson trial

    Friday, September 22 2017 7:19 PM EDT2017-09-22 23:19:49 GMT
    James Henderson's defense attorney, Stanley Sokolowski, started off the third day of court by questioning the state's witness, Investigator Bill Rulland. The cross examination lasted most of the morning and even a little into the afternoon. According to Investigator Michael Molnes, with the Houston County Sheriff's Office, Sokolowski attempted to discredit Brenna Theuer's witness testimony, as well as testimony from Robert Mobley.  The trial is expected to head into closing arg...More >>
    James Henderson's defense attorney, Stanley Sokolowski, started off the third day of court by questioning the state's witness, Investigator Bill Rulland. The cross examination lasted most of the morning and even a little into the afternoon. According to Investigator Michael Molnes, with the Houston County Sheriff's Office, Sokolowski attempted to discredit Brenna Theuer's witness testimony, as well as testimony from Robert Mobley.  The trial is expected to head into closing arg...More >>
  • Tar-covered tires stick to parking lot of Lufkin tire shop

    Tar-covered tires stick to parking lot of Lufkin tire shop

    Friday, September 22 2017 7:09 PM EDT2017-09-22 23:09:01 GMT
    More than a few tar-covered tires are hanging on to the parking lot of a Lufkin tire shop.  On August 31, newly laid asphalt on Loop 287 started sticking to tires of those driving, leaving many of the cars un-driveable. As of Friday, the Texas Department of Transportation hadn't come out with an official cause for the incident, but that hasn't stopped over 600 people from filing claims with them. Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.More >>
    More than a few tar-covered tires are hanging on to the parking lot of a Lufkin tire shop.  On August 31, newly laid asphalt on Loop 287 started sticking to tires of those driving, leaving many of the cars un-driveable. As of Friday, the Texas Department of Transportation hadn't come out with an official cause for the incident, but that hasn't stopped over 600 people from filing claims with them. Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.More >>
  • Trinity County traffic stop results in 2 felony drugs arrests. seizure of weed, codiene, other drugs

    Trinity County traffic stop results in 2 felony drugs arrests. seizure of weed, codiene, other drugs

    Friday, September 22 2017 6:19 PM EDT2017-09-22 22:19:50 GMT

    Deputies with the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office made two felony drug arrests and seized marijuana, Prometh VC with codeine, hydrocodone, Alprazolam, and ecstasy after a traffic stop near the intersection of Robb and Jefferson streets late Tuesday night.

    More >>

    Deputies with the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office made two felony drug arrests and seized marijuana, Prometh VC with codeine, hydrocodone, Alprazolam, and ecstasy after a traffic stop near the intersection of Robb and Jefferson streets late Tuesday night.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly