Tree of Honor honors loved ones

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Updated: 12/11/2013 9:38 pm Published: 12/11/2013 8:33 pm

Some Green Country families will be spending the holidays without their loved ones because of violence, but the community is helping bring them peace by honoring victims of crime.

Oklahoma started the Tree of Honor in 1995, and since then more than 1,700 ornaments have been placed on trees.

FOX23 News spoke with some families who have lost someone about how a simple ornament on a tree can mean so much.

Nancy Deerinwater is attending the Tree of Honor for the first time since her sister died in 2012.

"Last year I couldn't come because I wasn't ready," Deerinwater said. "This year I am very glad I came."

Her sister, Kenny, was beaten to death by her husband.
The loss of her sister makes the holiday tough, especially since her sister loved the holidays.

"She loved Christmas," Deerinwater said. "She was always big on holidays, but coming here helps it kind of celebrates it for her, makes it a little bit more peaceful."

Deerinwater told FOX23 that the trees of hope are full of victims and survivors, and their family members join together to honor the ones they loved.

"You don't feel like you are the only one out there that is going through this," Deerinwater said.

Deerinwater said she will never forget her sister and will maybe never be totally over it, but placing an ornament on the honor tree is a good start.

"It helps with the holidays because you kind of come to terms with it as much as you can, and it gives you an outlet,” she said.

Earlier this evening a there was a candlelight vigil and a prayer was given to help everyone that came this holiday season.

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