COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Hundreds of lives were lost to violence in Columbus in 2021, leaving hundreds of families still dealing with heartbreak.

Columbus Public Health is making sure the victims and their families are not forgotten.

Whether walking or driving by the Columbus Public Health building, flags on the fence along Parsons Avenue are hard to miss, and that’s the point. Columbus Public Health hopes they make the public think about the toll violence is taking on the city.

Black and red flags attached to flagpoles waving in the wind outside the building, each representing a life lost to violence in Columbus in 2021.

One of those flags is for Victoria Landrum and Mark Payne’s 27-year-old son Marcus, who they said was always trying to make those around him better. Marcus was shot and killed last summer.

“He was a human being that didn’t deserve to be murdered,” Landrum said. “He deserves to be walking around in the community.”

Another flag is for 19-year-old Cameron Kates. His mother Mechell Blair said he was a helper. Kates was shot and killed last spring.

“I would take my son back in a heartbeat for those flags to not be here,” she said. “Just as all the other mothers feel the same way.”

Two of 204 homicides last year. The Columbus Care Coalition putting up one flag for each life lost as part of National Crime Victims Rights Week. The coalition supports families of homicide victims.

Neighborhood Social Services Section Chief Marian Stuckey said the memorial isn’t just to remember the lives lost, but also all the family members and other lives affected.

“To really make a statement that this is happening and it’s a type of loss that really requires, it requires healing and support, and we really have to provide that for our community,” she said.

The loved ones said they appreciate their children’s lives aren’t forgotten but wish the flags didn’t have to be place there in the first place.

“One is too many and that’s a lot of flags,” Blair said. “It has to stop. Enough is enough.”

Columbus Public Health has recognized National Crime Victims Rights Week before, but this is the first time they’ve put the flags out.