Belton: 'Tree of Angels' ceremony honors victims of violent crimes

BELTON, Texas (KWTX) Families and survivors who have experienced violent crimes honored the memories of victims in a special ceremony Monday night.

In the emotional "Tree of Angels" ceremony, over 100 victims of violent crimes were remembered with songs, tears, hugs and a video tribute.

Opening remarks were also delivered by Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza.

The ceremony, in its 15th year, has become a tradition in Bell County. It is hosted by the Bell County Crime Victims Coalition.

Marcos Nieves told News 10 that his brother was killed by a drunk driver in 2003.

"It makes me feel like my brother is present right now. I can feel his presence and I'm very proud of that," Nieves said. "I'll always keep him in my heart. Right now, I'm physically feeling him like he is telling me to continue this interview and 'you're doing really well.'"

During the program, family members placed angel ornaments on two Christmas trees in honor of their loved one.

The ornaments will stay on the trees throughout the holiday season inside the center.

The ceremony also featured a candlelight vigil.