BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It was back in 2008, when Deborah Daniels received the news that no parent ever wants to hear.

Her youngest son, Drayton, was killed in a homicide here in Buffalo.

“A lost of a child, the lost of a loved one without the opportunity to say goodbye,” said Daniels. “It’s one of the hardest things a human being has to go through, that a parent has to go through.”

While going through the torture of grieving her loved one, an organization came to her lending a hand.

Parents Encouraging Accountability and Closure for Everyone, also known as P.E.A.C.E, came to Daniels, offering support through the difficult time. 14 years later, Daniels is now serves as a companion for others who have lost a loved one to homicide.

“It’s so prevalent because it’s almost normal. We hear about homicides on the daily basis in the city and it’s like ‘Oh another one’ another killing and I believe when people attend these events they understand and they can see these are real people and that there’s pain connected to this,” said Daniels.

Community members came together to honor the lives lost in our community on National Remembrance Day, a day dedicated to the loved ones who mourn the lives lost by homicide.

“It allows people to not only share the grief, but to release the grief and what it does, it helps a person that may be thinking about revenge, not to go out here and seek revenge,” said Reverend Rudolphus Boars Jr. “Instead of getting even, they’re trying to help another individual trying to help someone else so they may not have to go through some of the things that the people that lost their children are going through.”

According to Reverend Boars, 90% of the people associated with P.E.A.C.E. are people who experienced the pain loosing a loved one is like, and majority lost were their children. He believes it’s important to educate children the costs of what hatred can lead to.

“This event is about healing, it’s about sharing information and getting down the road together.” said Reverend Boars, “They say what you keep in keeps you sick, and a lot of times when you have a venue where you can listen, release it, with like minds that have gone through basically what you’re going through, its a form or healing.”

For more information about P.E.A.C.E. and their programs to help loved ones, head to their website here. For more information on WNY’s Crime Stoppers and their anonymous tip line click here.

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Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.