Hundreds of families and friends remembered loved ones who were killed in an annual vigil in Modesto.

It's the 20th annual lighting of the homicide victims' memorial tree and candlelight vigil.

"It means a lot because most of the time especially when it's happened so long ago you feel like people have forgotten and when you unite with people like this you feel like you're not alone," says Jennifer Sahines who lost her sister in 2009.

Sahines's sister, Katherine Voelker, was a victim of domestic violence.

Every year since then their family comes out to the vigil in Modesto in memory of her.

"She was a great person she wasn't just my sister," Sahines said. "She was a mother. She was a daughter, a cousin, and a niece and a granddaughter. She had a lot of life left unfortunately she was taken from us. I was able to adopt her two children."

This is new for Albert Lopez who lost his son Angel Lopes last year.

"It's gonna be a year tomorrow so it's not an easy time to be by yourself, but it's not an easy time to be around a lot of people but everyone out here seems to be out here for the same reason you know?" Lopez said. "My son was the happiest person in the world. Biggest smile good hearted person. Unfortunately he lost his life."

People were able to bring ornaments to place on the tree in memory of their loved ones.

"Every single year I like to put her name on there to show people these are real people these aren't just ornaments hanging on a tree," Sahines said. "Their lives were taken."