CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - It was a somber ceremony as loved ones came together Thursday night to remember murder victims for the Eighth Annual Day of Remembrance.
Tyese Miller lost her 19-year-old son, Billy Jackson, in 1998. She says he was robbed and shot to death on his way home from work.
"Last week, I cried my eyes out like it was just the first time. For some reason, everything came back, the whole scene, the ambulance, going to the hospital."
Miller's story was just one of many at the Annual Day of Remembrance. Dozens of families shared the pain of their loss, memories of loved ones and the seemingly impossible task of moving forward.
The event was organized by the Survivors of Homicide Support Group, which is a collaboration between the Charleston County Sheriff's Office and MUSC.
"They hug each other. They love each other. They encourage each other, and it's just a real safe place to help them on this journey that they will be on the rest of their lives," says Barbara Binion, a victim advocate with the Charleston County Sheriff's Office.
It's a journey, Miller says, she takes one moment at a time. Her life is now devoted to counseling troubled teens and other victims of homicide.
"You live it every day, and what my words to other homicide victims are that you will never get over it, but God will help you live through it."
She and others say the support group has been a saving grace.
"I just started going five years ago, and it's a big help. It's a big help because we are a family, not one we chose to be in, but we help and support each other."
Support Group Meetings:
1st and 3rd Thursday of each month:
1 p.m.-2 p.m., National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center
67 President St., 2nd Floor-South Entrance
6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., John Wesley United Methodist Church
626 Savannah Highway