ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Nineteen new victims were honored at the Crime Victims Memorial Ceremony on Friday.
The memorial at the Empire State Plaza is comprised of a brick walkway with over 900 names of New Yorkers who have lost their lives or otherwise been affected by crime.
“The families who are here today find comfort in sharing this time with other families who have gone through a very similar experience. Their grief is overwhelming and not many people understand what that’s like unless they’ve walked in their shoes,” Erin Pierone, a New York State Police Crime Victims Specialist, said.
Among those recognized was 16-year-old Niko Dinovo. After a near-fatal ride in the passenger seat with a suspected drunk driver, his life was altered forever.
Niko sustained third-degree burns over 95 percent of his body and is currently fighting for his life.
Niko is receiving his own brick on the memorial walkway.
His loved ones came to show support and solidarity.
“We were extremely honored. Any opportunity to show to talk about Niko, have people pray for Niko, think about Niko, we grab onto it,” Davina Resciniti, Niko’s Aunt, said.
Niko’s family says they hope this incident teaches the community about accountability.
“I’d like young teenagers to really think before they get in the car. It’s their choice.”
The ceremony happens every year and event organizers say everyone is welcome to come to the Empire Plaza and see the memorial.