BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - — Almost a thousand people in Erie County have died from COVID-19 this year.
Dozens more have been the victim of homicide, mainly in the City of Buffalo.
Several of family and friends who lost their loved ones to gun violence have gathered at the 19th annual Tree of Life Ceremony to place a red ribbon.
Jacqueline Croom, a mother whose 23-year-old son was shot three times, was one of many who closed her eyes to feel the connection to her loved one.
“I’ve lost a son. I’ve also been to too many other funerals, she says. “I’ve seen the pain in mother’s eyes. I can relate to everything they’re going through.”
Croom says her son's homicide is still unsolved.
She and other family members of homicide victims placed a red ribbon on a Christmas tree.
64 ribbons represented one for every homicide victim in Buffalo this year.
This year's event also recognizes victims of the pandemic.
Karla Thomas, the cost of the event, says this year’s event also recognizes victims of the pandemic.
“We've also called other names from other places,” she says. “We've also called the names of the story of life, which is for the people who have family members that died of COVID.”
Several that attended the remembrance hoped those could come forward and piece together unsolved cases.