30,000 walk route that should have taken Jill Meagher home
IT was an emotional and heartfelt thank you to the Australian public who helped support her family during a time of devastation.
Standing outside the bridal shop where her daughter, Jill Meagher, was last seen on a security video, Edith McKeon struggled for words.
"I would like to thank the huge support here in Melbourne, it's just been unbelievable," said Mrs McKeon.
She had come to thank the people of Melbourne for their support as thousands took part in a peace march in the suburb of Brunswick to remember the murdered Drogheda woman.
"Just thank you, simply thank you," said Mrs McKeon. "And I hope they put more cameras in here to keep people safe and I just thank you everybody, everybody for all your support."
A traffic-stopping 30,000 people came together at the weekend to walk in silence along the route Jill never completed in the final hours of her life.
The 29-year-old had set out for home after drinking with her Australian Broadcasting Corporation colleagues in Bruns-wick. What befell her on the way shocked two nations and united a city in grief.
Photographer Philip Werner, who organised the march along Sydney Road via social media websites, expected just a dozen people to turn up.
Most had never met Jill, but all now know of her. She has become a symbol of something they never want to happen on their streets again.
Marchers wept as they walked past the Duchess Boutique bridal shop where Drogheda woman Jill was captured on CCTV speaking with a man in a blue hoodie who has since been charged with her rape and murder.
The shop has become a shrine, with floral tributes piled up outside.
Many marchers yesterday carried signs urging an end to violence but not an end to women's right to walk the streets at night. Others stopped at Brunswick Baptist Church to say a prayer.
Aldo Crupi (54), of nearby Reservoir, said: "I have a daughter about Jill's age. What happened to Jill could have happened to my daughter.
"We must work together as a community to stop this violence."
Jill's family is expected to receive her remains tomorrow.
Although no final decision has been made, it is believed a memorial service will be held in Melbourne later in the week.