Victims remembered at Tree of Angels - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Victims remembered at Tree of Angels

HENDERSON, TX (KLTV)- Each ornament represents a loved one lost.

"My brother was murdered in 2001 and they never found the body," says Marie Martin, President and Founder of the Tree of Angels.

"So, I started doing this. Now, no one will forget him and they won't forget the other ones that are gone," Martin says.

The crowded court room is filled with mourning families who cling to their memories and their faith.

"My faith in God is what has gotten me through and if I didn't have that, I don't know if I would have made it," says Julie LePelley, a victim's mother.

She says it is faith and forgiveness that helps her get through each day.

"That's the hardest part in this is trying to find that forgiveness in the person that committed the crime," LePelley says.

Martin says she reaches more people every year.

"My first tree I had twelve people in the snow and in the rain. Now, well, I had 175 people at one," she says.

A special evening, but unfortunate that now the ornaments are starting to outnumber the branches.

"It's a very sad day; maybe one day we won't have to do this," Martin says.

But until then, Martin says this tree will be here every year in remembrance of those who are now gone but never forgotten.

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