SWLA Parents of Murdered Children, balloon release

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Southwest Louisiana (SWLA) chapter of Parents of Murdered Children hosted a balloon release today, September 25, 2011.  It all took place at the Lake Charles Civic Center Seawall in off Lakeshore Drive in Lake Charles, La.

Family, friends and survivors of murder victims attended the event armed with memories and stories to share with all grieving families.

Officials came out to speak including Mayor Randy Roach and police officials.

Founder of the SWLA chapter, Julia Fontenot spoke to KPLC about the murder of her son (Anthony) that took place years ago but to her it was just like yesterday. Fontenot explained that having events like this are important to help families learn they are not alone.

Marsha Duhon spoke of her losing her son-in-law (Jack) and daughter (Kim) who was 4 months pregnant. The murder happened on December 6, 2000.

Jennifer Williams-Lambert told KPLC that she lost the man she was engaged to be married to, Brian Gray, in 1993. And just a few months ago, Lambert says she lost her 19 year old cousin to a shooting in Lake Charles, La.

The releasing of balloons (each balloon representing a loved one) helps visualize just how much SWLA grieves from violence.

Today, September 25 is National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.

The SWLA Parents of Murdered Children's group meets the 2nd Monday each month at 2409 Second Street (2nd) Lake Charles, LA.