Commonwealth of Massachusetts
A Proclamation
His Excellency Governor Deval L. Patrick

Whereas The murder of a loved one robs their family of a mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, grandparent, aunt, uncle or extended family member and creates an overwhelming challenge to fill the void that their absence creates; and

Whereas Survivors of homicide victims are scattered across the Commonwealth and are in need of specific and targeted intervention that starts with the death notification and goes far beyond the burial, and in some cases the trial; and

Whereas Survivors use their tragedies to tell stories of pain inflicted by the murder.  They have rejected paths of retaliation, shame and isolation and instead leaned toward learning and teaching lessons of compassion and peace; and

Whereas Survivors of homicide victims  want their murdered children to be valued, regardless of the circumstances surrounding their deaths, and their surviving children to grow up in a safe environment, recognized for their human worth rather than as statistics waiting to happen; and

Whereas Throughout the year and particularly during the holidays, survivors of homicide victims experience overwhelming grief, isolation, and despair; and

Whereas Survivors of homicide victims are using this painful understanding of violence to honor their loved ones by providing leadership to our society in its quest to find ways to prevent violence and promote peace by effecting policy changes on a local, state and national level,

Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim November 20th – December 20th, 2011, to be

Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month

And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this eighteenth day of November, in the year two thousand and eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

By His Excellency                  
Deval L. Patrick 
Governor of the Commonwealth

William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth

God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts