By MIKE MYERS The Belton Journal The Bell County Crime Victims’ Coalition hosted its first-ever Flowers on the Creek event at Creekside Park’s Landing in Belton on Thursday. Established in 1994, the coalition has honored victims of crime every year and actively participates in National Crime Victims’ Rights Week every April. Lisa Hatfield, Chairperson of the Crime Victims’s Coalition, said that this year the theme is Survivor Voices: Elevate. Engage. Effect Change. “We want to be focused on the survivors of victims of crime and their families. We are doing that by inviting the crime victims and their families who have been impacted by all crime. They don’t have to be victims of violent crime, but any crime survivor is invited to the celebration,” Hatfield said. Belton Chief of Police Gene Ellis says this is about the victims. This truly is about serving and protecting others, Ellis said. “We need to make sure we are standing behind the victims. We will continue to be focused on that. I like the fact we are doing a visual reminder today for the victims,” Ellis said. Jill McAfee, retired Bell County District Attorney, and founder of The Bell County Crime Victims’ Coalition closed with a prayer she once heard. In part she read, “In time, all the accounts will be settled. All truths will be told. All debt will be evenly scored. For now in this world we can push for justice, and labor for truth and fair payment.” Members of the public, along with survivors of victimization and advocates, were invited to take part in the event by dropping flowers into the Nolan Creek. Recognizing victims of crime is a meaningful tribute. The coalition provides continuous care to victims through the many organizations. As a victim goes through each stage of the justice system, each victim has an advocate with them whether it’s a community based, or system-based program. Advocates at the ceremony included Baylor Scott & White, Aware Central Texas, The Children’s Advocacy Center of Central Texas, Temple Police Department, District Attorney’s Office, Belton Police Department, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, Unbound Waco, Killeen Police Department, Harker Heights Police Department, and the Bell County Sheriff’s Department. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan issued an Executive Order declaring the month of April, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Forty-two years later NCVRW still calls upon communities to amplify the voices of survivors and create an environment where survivors have the confidence that they will be heard, believed, and are supported through advocates that support survivors and victim services movement. Thursday marked a day of celebration and remembrance for the victims of crime in the community.