It was brief but it was emotional.
About 50 people, from infants to seniors, gathered inside the doors of the Warren County Courthouse on Thursday night to remember friends and loved ones who died as a result of others' impaired driving.
The ceremony, just 15 minutes in length, comes during National Crime Victims' Rights Week, which runs from April 22 through April 28.
"It's a bittersweet thing that brings us together," Warren County Commissioner John Bortz said. "We do have much to celebrate (to) help the joy and life of our our loved ones."
Bortz presented a proclamation on behalf of the Commissioners that declared April 26 "as a day of commemoration and remembrance for all those whose lives have been affected by impaired driving and to send the message that we will always remember those who have been needlessly killed by impaired drivers," the proclamation read.
It further noted that an average of five Warren County residents die each year as a result of DUI-related accidents.
The Youth Connection of Warren County was on hand and performed the song "Angels Among Us."
Renee Rulander read a poem that was written by the father of a victim entitled "Never A Day Passes That I Do Not Remember." The poem highlighted all of the things the author remembered about the loved one he lost while also expressing regret that the passing of time can make those things much harder to remember.
Casey Parker sang "Lean On Me."
The names of those who have lost their lives as a result of impaired driving were read as people cried, hugged and remembered.
The memorial service, titled "Take the Steps to Remember DUI Victims," was an outgrowth of the Warren County Victim Impact Panel, originally formed in 1994. It was started as a support group and now includes education and awareness efforts, including presentations to people in Warren County who have been convicted of DUI-related offenses. They meet the first Tuesday of each month in the basement of the Courthouse.