Memorial unveiled in Blackwood, NJ on International Overdose Awareness Day

A memorial was unveiled Monday in Blackwood, New Jersey, to remember overdose victims on International Overdose Awareness Day.

"Shain had a beautiful heart," said Ray Massi as he shared pictures of his son who lost his battle with addiction Aug. 29 of last year. 

"He was a very giving young man. He would give things, brand new things away because he felt somebody needed them," said Massi. Today he found the strength to talk to families gathered at Timber Creek Park in Blackwood New Jersey on International Overdose Awareness Day.

"I think that his issue with dealing with his disability and inability to fit in with what he considered to be normal but to us he was normal," said Massi about his son.  

Today was even more emotional for these families who have lost loved ones to drug addiction because Camden County unveiled a beautiful memorial with names of victims and inspirational messages surrounding the purple ribbon symbolizing overdose awareness. 

"What we wanted to create this year was sort of an area where those can memorialize those they've lost and also give hope and honor those who have battled every day with long term recovery," said Deputy County Administrator Dominic Vesper. 

Patty DiRenzo gazes at a brick for her son. 

It will be 10 years on Sept. 23rd since Sal lost his life. 

"In loving memory. Sal Marchese. Forever in our hearts," said DiRenzo. 

Massi says he finds comfort knowing his son will never be forgotten because he touched so many people. 

"The lives he touched and affected and the lives that are better today because they knew and loved him are numerous," said Massi. 


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