Memorial to My Brother and P.O.M.C. Conference in Philadelphia

My brother Jimmy’s name is somewhere on one of these plaques, but I’m not sure which one. This is a nice ceremony, very somber. I did go to two of these conferences, one about fifteen years ago in Lansing, Michigan; and one several years ago held a few miles away in Scottsdale, Arizona.  My mother went to one other one with some of her friends, but I can’t remember what city it was in.  The one this video was shot at took place the weekend of August 13, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The  National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children (P.O.M.C.) was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Here is the link to the Valley of the Sun Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children.
My brother Jimmy was shot to death at the age of twenty-five on April 19, 1994 at his apartment in Dallas, Texas.  He is buried at National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in this location: SECTION 43 SITE 1444.  His killer, Geremy Lamar Sledge, was convicted of First Degree Murder, and is currently serving a thirty year to life sentence in the Beto Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.  His earliest chance for parole is July 18, 2024.

DATE OF BIRTH: 08/19/1968
DATE OF DEATH: 04/19/1994
BURIED AT: SECTION 43  SITE 1444 Click to view the cemetery map
(480) 513-3600 View Map

Here is his memoral site (still a work in progress): Memorial Site for James Joseph Turley, Jr. 
Posted on Fri, Aug. 13, 2010

Homicide victims’ families gather to bond and grieve

Philadelphia Daily News 215-854-5218

The tragedy that struck the Jenkins and Varga families in 2008 brought them closer together in a way they couldn’t imagine.

Both families lost their children – Marine Sgt. Janek Pietrzak, 24, and his wife, Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak, 26, were slain in Southern California two months shy of their one-year wedding anniversary in October 2008.

The couple were found gagged, tied and shot execution style in their home. Four Marines were charged in their deaths.

Two years later, those two families and 300 other people from around the country have become part of a group of parents and relatives of slain children.

The National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children opened its 24th annual conference last night at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott with the unveiling of the "Murder Wall," a traveling tribute to the memories of slain sons and daughters.

"It was very touching, giving them honor which they deserve," said Henryka Varga, of New York, mother of Sgt. Pietrzak.

Her eyes were glossy as she stared at the wall’s wooden panels.

Henryka and her husband, Milan Varga, were attending the ceremony for the first time. Quiana’s parents, Roy and Glenda Jenkins, invited them.

"It helps you because this is where you can let your shield down," said Glenda Jenkins, 54, of San Bernardino, Calif.

The ceremony was an emotional one for Deborah Cunningham, 51, of Dexter, Maine.

Her eyes welled with tears as she watched the Pennsylvania State Police Honor Guard and New Jersey State Police Lt. Andre Curtis unveil the last plaque with 117 names.

Cunningham lost her 21-month-old grandson, Treven Jacob, and Mindy Gould, a friend of the family, in December 1999, after they were murdered execution style by Gould’s ex-boyfriend.

"As you can see, every single one of these people here has lost someone," Cunningham said. "You can feel their anguish."

The three vacant spaces on the 31st plaque will undoubtedly be filled by next year’s ceremony, said Nancy Ruhe, the executive director of NOPMC.

"There are families sitting there watching TV with loved ones," Ruhe said. "Little do they know they’re going to join a group that no one wants to join. All you have left is a name on a plaque."

Related Stories:

‘Murder Wall’ recalls Sarah, 3,714 others

Family Hopes to Solve Murder With MySpace Page, Award Money



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