BRYAN, Texas--- Families of those lost to violent crime gathered at First United Methodist Church in Bryan, Tuesday night, to decorate a Christmas tree honoring those they lost.
A victim’s name was placed on an ornament, which family members then hung on the tree, in a ceremony known as the “Tree of Angels.” It's meant to give comfort to those who will remember a lost loved one this holiday season.
Solemn lights, police honor guards, and tear-streaked faces lined the pews and aisles of the Church. As family members hung the ornaments, the name of each victim was read aloud.
After Tuesday’s ceremony, the tree was moved to the third floor of the Brazos County Courthouse.
“You’re surrounded by people that have lost,” said Lisa Walters. Lisa lost her daughter, Lindsay Walters, 8 years ago to a reckless driver. “She had gone out to Northgate with some friends and was standing in the parking garage when a Dodge Ram 1500 came barreling through.”
Lindsay was an accounting student at A&M with a 4.0. She was a model student, citizen, and daughter, her parents said.
This was their ninth time coming to the “Tree of Angels” Ceremony.
“It’s nice that people want to remember your child,” Lisa told us. “The fear of a parent is to have their child not remembered.”
Dozens of family members of numerous victims attended the event, organized by the Brazos County District Attorney’s office.
“There’s a lot of pain, but there’s also a lot of joy [here],” said Lisa.