LONG BEACH (CBSLA)   — Forty trees were planted in Long Beach Saturday and they all served a special purpose.

CBS2’s Joy Benedict says each tree represented a person who was murdered.

Loved ones were on hand for the planting and dedication ceremony and there wasn’t a dry eye around.

“For my son, Nicolas Acosta,” said one woman.

“For my nephew Darnell Blow,” said another.

Small signs now decorate the trees in the Long Beach community. Hand written notes and names that people remember. Dozens of families showed up with shovels to bring new life to these streets — in honor of those no longer living.

“My son is Robert Anthony. He was 22 when he was murdered in 2014,” said his mom.

All of the families taking part are members of the group, Justice for Murdered Children. It’s a group they would surely not like to be members of, but being members help in the sharing of grief.

Socheata Ros came to honor her nephew.


Franklin Pon Ros was killed in the crossfire of a shooting in Compton in a liquor store parking lot last month.

“We need to find justice for him because the way his life ended was very tragic,” said Ros.


But today was more about healing than justice.

“A lot of things and a lot of people are affected by these crimes and its not okay,” said Ros.

For many of the families, years have passed since they lost their loved ones but the sadness remains.

Benedict asked one woman if it gets any easier?

“No. They say it does but it doesn’t get any easier,” she said.

All of the trees planted Saturday were  donated by the Port Authority of  Long Beach. And for the families remembering their loved ones, it’s just another way to not forget those lost.

“To let them know we are never going to forget them and we still love them and think about them every day,” said Margie Green.

And those hopefully walking by these trees will do the same. And maybe they will help stop the cycle of violence.

“I just wish people will stop killing,” said Robert Anthony’s mother.

For those already gone, these trees will hopefully bring a little peace to their families who now get to watch something live — and grow — in honor of the life that was taken.


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