‘National Day of Remembrance’ a time to think of loved ones lost to murder

People say events like this give them a chance to be with others who have gone through a similar situation - something they say most people don't understand.
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 10:49 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Monday was National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.

It’s a time for loved ones to remember those they’ve lost to murder. About 50 people gathered at Angel’s Park in Evansdale to remember their loved ones.

“It’s a peaceful relaxing place to be,” said Heidi Maring.

Maring has a tree growing on the far side of the park overlooking Lake Meyer. It is a place to remember her 8-year-old son Anthony Maring.

“He was a very energetic, silly, goofy, 8-year-old,” she said.

Anthony was killed at the hands of Heidi’s husband in 2006 in Galena, Illinois. An unimaginable act of violence when she was on the other end of the phone line.

“I was begging for my son’s life,” she said. “I got to talk to him for a moment, and I told him I loved him. Then I heard him scream, and I’ll never forget that.”

Her story was one of dozens of people listened to. A day for people like Maring to be with others who lost a loved one to murder. It’s a pain they say most people will never understand.

“People ask me how many children I have, and I have to think for a second, not because I don’t want to say, but I just say two,” she said. “They then go ‘Oh, how old are they?’ and then you have to explain because you meet somebody, and they want to have a normal conversation, but mine isn’t like everybody else.”

“It’s not just the immediate loss of a loved one, in my case, it’s a trial you have to go through,” said Lauren Niebuhr.

Niebuhr was there to remember her husband, Brock, who was killed by his father in 2019. For her, this was a way to keep his story alive.

“I loved him,” she said. “He was my soulmate; he is still my soulmate.”

National Day of Remembrance is a day to honor loved ones lost, it’s also a time when the burden each person carries can be shared with others who know this pain all too well.

“You don’t know what it’s like to go through a loss like this,” said Niebuhr.