Mercy Drive memorial dedication remembers lives lost

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ORLANDO, Fla. - A community plagued by violent crimes has a place to reflect on the startling number of lives lost.

A memorial garden was dedicated Tuesday at Mercy Drive ministries in Orlando.

Law enforcement spoke about the effort being made to prevent more names from being added to the site.

A cross represents more than faith for Mary Jones, it's a reminder of her two sons.

"It's just hard, it's just really hard," said Jones.

In August 2012, 23-year-old Timothy Hobby was shot to death. His older brother, 26-year-old Dwayne Jones was killed in April.

"My heart just shattered, really, because…both of my babies, you know?" said Jones.

Her sons are just two tragic examples of the crime that plagues the Mercy Drive community.

It's why Eagle Scout Daniel Bolan helped raise a total of $50,000 to create a memorial garden to remember those lost in violent crimes.

The next phase of the project will include inscribing the names of victims of violent crimes into the bricks that circle the garden. Two of the first names inscribed will be Jones' sons, but sadly there are already 40 other names waiting to be inscribed.

Despite those numbers, thanks to a targeted effort by law enforcement, crime has leveled a bit in the area over the past five years.

According to Orlando police, there have been no homicides on the Mercy Drive, Silver Star, or Willow Bend areas of the city since 2009 and last year, there were just four robberies.

"Certainly we still have work to do and this memorial will help us refocus our efforts," Deputy Chief Carl Metzger with Orlando police said.

The memorial gives the community a place to remember those already lost, and hope that no more lives will be taken.

"Hopeful and joyful. I'm happy, I'm happy to see this," Jones said.

Bricks will start to be added to the memorial within the next two weeks.