Hostetler Park renovation project wraps up, honors victims of violent crimes

Published: Sep. 16, 2017 at 4:28 PM AKDT
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An 18 month renovation project at Hostetler Park is complete. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held to mark the finish on Saturday.

The park is home to the Victims For Justice memorial where the names of 346 Alaskans who died as a result of homicides or violent crimes are posted.

Chaplain Diane Peterson with Alaska Police and Fire Chaplains said the goal of the project was to make it more open and inviting to those who want to remember loved ones.

"Everyday families feel that pain and before the park was kind of dark and dreary and we wanted to bring some light and freshness and renewing for that love that fills that hole in the heart," Chaplain Peterson said.

Jean Huntsman, mother of Nathan Tanape who died in 2011 said the monument gives her a sense of comfort.

"I think it's it's great, it's really great — it's helping me to recover," Huntsman said.

Huntsman said she still feels the pain of losing her only son.

"His name was Nathan, I named him Nathan because it's a gift given by God and he's up there now he doesn't have to stay behind and suffer anymore," Huntsman said.