MCKINNEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — The holidays are about celebrating and remembering. It’s the latter part of that which makes this time of year hard on those dealing with sudden and traumatic losses.

Families of those who lost their lives to murder gathered around McKinney’s Tree of Angels Friday.

It’s an unusual sight, but one that Marcus Bass and others who visit understand.

“We just come together to make a stand saying that we are all family now,” Bass said.

They shared hugs while hanging handmade ornaments to remember people like Bass’s wife, who was one of 8 people killed in a Plano home two years ago.

“I really do miss her a lot,” the widower said. “That was actually my best friend… My true best friend.”

Masako Mai understands the emptiness so many here feel after her brother was shot and killed last year.

“He loved everyone,” Mai said. “He never met a stranger he was always the light in the room.”

There are familiar names and faces on some of the ornaments from murder cases that received more attention. But the Collin County District Attorney’s Office wanted to make sure none of the 50 families that came to decorate the tree is ever forgotten.

Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis said just from the tears in peoples’ eyes and the hugs they give, he can tell the tree means the world to them.

“We have new cases coming in every day, but the ones who have lost loved ones… they live with it every single day,” Willis said. “So, this is just a time during the holidays when we say, “We don’t forget you.'”

The Tree of Angels will stand in the Collin County Courthouse through the holidays.