Justin Mitchell, WTOP.com
ROCKVILLE, MD. -- On a bright Sunday afternoon, Maryland hosted its 25th annual memorial service for the victims of violent crime and their families.
The event, named "The Love a Heart Holds Dear," took place at the Hilton Hotel in Rockville. A color guard from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department paid tribute, as did musicians and other speakers.
Most prominent among the attendees was Maryland State's Attorney for Montgomery County, John McCarthy.
"We try to take a little time every year, just to remind them that their family is not forgotten," McCarthy told WTOP. "You're not just a number, you're not just a statistic — you're a real living, breathing person. And there are people throughout Maryland that care about you."
The event honored victims of homicide, vehicular manslaughter, and missing crime. Like Mary Bazargan, who lost her daughter, Azin Naimi, to violent crime four years ago.
"I'm happy that [people still] care," she said, fighting back tears. "But otherwise it's still painful."
Bazargan's daughter was murdered four years ago at the art studio where she worked. Her killer was convicted and is serving life in prison.
But the support shown by the state and the people who showed up still meant a lot to her. "Sometimes, about this kind of love, I am speechless," Bazargan said.
The event was one of four held throughout Maryland. The memorial services mark the beginning of Maryland's observance of National Crime Victims' Rights Week.
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