by Lisa Tome
For Gary Pierce, the annual Cecil County Victim's Memorial Wall and Walk was a career memory lane.
Pierce, a retired Maryland State Trooper, strolled along the wall, identifying cases he worked during his time as a detective at the North East barracks. Pierce quickly picked out Earline Brown, who was murdered in Port Deposit in 1990, and more than a dozen other murder victims from the wall of names and photos. He recalled how and where they died and the circumstances.
Betty Capano-Williams and her mother, Betty Miller focused on two names on the walk and wall - Rebecca Boyd, who died in 2013 and Mark Capano, who died six years ago. The women are family members of both victims.
"I'm glad they make a place to remember. I see other people who lost their kids. Mark (his memorial) is over by the fence to the left," said Miller. "I like that they have this here," said Capano-Williams.
Dan Potts has two cousins who are remembered at the wall and walk. He was also there to support his friends, members of murder victim Terri McCoy's family. "The biggest thing this does is put out awareness. I didn't realize there were so many victims. It seems like it's a serious problem," said Potts. He also said this his daughter participates in a memorial event for drunk driving victim Janet Hardy.
Tammy Fitzgerald, simultaneously laughed and cried as she remembered her father, Thomas Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald died in 2001. He was injured by an impaired driver years prior. Fitzgerald's name was on the memorial wall for the first time. "It feels good to remember him. I miss him. This is a very good event. You don't want the person you love to be forgotten," said Fitzgerald.
This event is held annually during National Crime Victim Rights week. The event is sponsored by the Office of the State's Attorney. It is organized by Valda Rotolo, Victim/Witness Coordinator for Cecil's State's Attorney's Office with assistance from volunteers. Jeff Pierce of Aberdeen volunteered to perform live music at this event.