DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — A Newton couple made it their goal to make sure each homicide victim in the Wiregrass is remembered and each family left behind has a reminder that someone cares.
Two hundred twenty-nine crosses are draped with a purple cloth and a picture of the victim. Each year, the Wiregrass Angel House remembers those who lost their lives.
Those crosses were hand-made by Dana and Mark Weed.
“I’ve known Shelly for many years since she was 14, and I retired just a few months ago at the end of last year, and she was discussing the crosses,” Mark Weed said. “If she had a problem she had to go to Montgomery and borrow some crosses she could only get about a 150. It was very difficult and she wanted to put some out there, so I said, ‘You know, I’m retired. I can make them.'”
Dana and Mark worked side by side in the scorching heat to ensure the crosses were completed in a timely manner. Mark said as they were placing the crosses in the designated place, he noticed a childhood friend picture and that was the motivation to keep going.
“She died at the age of 21 she was a year younger than me, in school, a very wonderful person and I liked her. Great person to be around and I was kind of doing it for her.”
But for Dana, this was the continuation of a legacy that was created many years ago.
“My mother was the grief counselor there who started there for many, many years Joyce Nottingham,” Dana Weed said. “Anything I can say, she loved this time of the year where they had the National Day of Remembrance, and the whole month is to bring attention to the victims.”
The couple says their hard work paid off by seeing the families’ reactions about the crosses.