ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Local groups decorated Christmas trees on Sunday in Civic Plaza to remember the lives of children who have died due to violence or abuse in New Mexico. This is the sixth year that the city and Guardians of the Children have decorated for the annual Angel Tree lighting.

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Each tree holds ornaments with a child’s name and picture and while the topic may be difficult for those involved, it’s a way of making sure the lives of those children and their stories are not forgotten.

“Some of these kids were only with us for a very, very short period of time, some for a few years. But their presence will always be missed. We firmly believe the day we stop saying their name is the day they are gone,” said Classic of the Guardians of the Children Rio Grande Chapter.

The official tree lighting ceremony will be at Civic Plaza on Thursday, Dec. 16 starting at 5:30 p.m.