SWLA Parents of Murdered Children remember lost family members - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

SWLA Parents of Murdered Children remember lost family members

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Balloons lined the sea wall at the Lake Charles Civic Center on Sunday, serving as a connection between victims of homicide and their families. 

"You watch them (balloons) go up there ... you're loved ones in heaven," said Julia Fontenot. "You know, we all look up when we think about heaven ... just send them a message."

Fontenot's son was murdered in 2004. Thinking she had nowhere to turn to or no one to talk to, she founded the Southwest Louisiana Chapter of the Parents of Murdered Children (POMC) organization. 

"It's a sense of belonging to a group that knows what you're going through and you know what they're going through," said Fontenot. "We're just a family. A family that nobody would join given the choice, of course, but at our meetings it's not all solemn."  

Since it's founding, the organization has been described as a rock of strength for people like Maranda Brown.  

"I started going to the POMC meetings after Hurricane Ike because I was having a hard time dealing with my sister's death and her casket was uprooted by Ike," said Brown.  "So, we were dealing with losing her all over again and so I joined the support group then."

"It helps out because we all suffer the same thing individually, but collectively together, so that's what it means to me and I thank God that I'm able to do this in spite of my situation," said Ronald Joesph, whose son was murdered. 

Tuesday is the nationwide day of remembrance for the victims of homicide, but the Southwest Louisiana Chapter of the POMC honored their loved ones a few days early. 

"It's a resolution that was helped passed by the national POMC to honor all murder victims," said Fontenot. "You know Army, Navy, all of our military". 

As each year goes by and more and more families remember the legacies their family members left behind, event's like the national day of remembrance help father's like Joesph muster up the strength to move on. 

"There's a songwriter who says weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning," he said.  "I just say to myself I'm having a long night because I know that God is able".

The POMC meets every second Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at their offices located at: 

2402 2nd Street
Lake Charles, LA
70601

They can be reached at (337) 583-2602

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