MASON CITY — Those who died as a result of domestic violence, in North Iowa and other parts of the state, were honored Friday during the annual Remember My Name event in Mason City.
Among those who attended was Lynane Kofoot of Mason City, whose fiance’s mother, Joni Manning, was murdered by her boyfriend in 2001 in Fort Dodge.
Kofoot, who said she experienced domestic abuse herself in the past, said the most important thing about Remember My Name is “the victims are not forgotten.”
Joni Manning, who was a nurse, was beaten to death and her body was in the house for two days. Kofoot’s fiance, Brandon Manning, found her body when he came home from college.
The killer was on the run for eight years before turning himself in. He is now serving a life sentence for first-degree murder.
The names of people who died because of domestic violence in Iowa — including men, women, children and bystanders — are read aloud for each year between 1995 and the present during Remember My Name.
Some of their stories are also read aloud.
Ribbons are tied on a tree with each ribbon representing someone who died of domestic abuse between 1995 and the present.
If any of the victim’s loved ones are present and wish to do so, they are the ones who tie the ribbon on the tree.
The number of ribbons on the tree is now 272.
Mason City Police Chief Jeff Brinkley told those in attendance Friday “not to forget the names we talked about today.”
Mary Ingham, executive director of Crisis Intervention Service in Mason City, said it is important to remember those who were “murdered at the hands of someone who was supposed to love them.”
Sadly, more and more names are being added to the list each year, she said.
However, the support network for loved ones of the victims is growing, according to Ingham.
When the Remember My Name event began in Mason City, families would sit at different tables and not interact with each other, she said.
Now friendships are being formed, as have informal support groups, “which is actually the best kind,” Ingham said.
Remember My Name is sponsored by the North Iowa Domestic Assault & Sexual Abuse Community Coalition.