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Trayvon Martin would have celebrated his 18th birthday Tuesday.

It’s the first of two difficult dates for the teenager’s parents in February. The second comes Feb. 26, the one-year anniversary of Trayvon’s fatal encounter with George Zimmerman, which sparked outcry across the globe.

“For his family, it’s tough when it comes to his birthday and how to deal with it,” said Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the teen’s family. “As well as coming up in a couple of weeks…. the anniversary of the tragedy.”

“[Tracy Martin] tries to keep his composure and tries to have faith in the system, but it’s very difficult for them to not become… overcome with emotion,” Crump said. “[Trayvon’s birthday is] supposed to be a day of celebration, but for them it’s not a day of celebration.”

Instead, the family has announced a series of events through the foundation they formed in their son’s name.

The first of those events, announced by the Justice for Trayvon Martin Foundation, will take place before Tuesday’s hearing. Community leaders and college students will say a prayer for the teen’s family and sing “Happy Birthday” in front of the Seminole County Courthouse at 8:30 a.m, Crump said.

Later Tuesday, the Goldsboro Welcome Center on Historic Goldsboro Boulevard in Sanford will host an event called “Banding Together for Peace Against Gun Violence.”

The Welcome Center is the new home of the Trayvon Martin memorial, a garden of flowers, white crosses and other remembrances alongside Historic Goldsboro Boulevard.

Earlier makeshift memorials and remembrances left outside the Retreat at Twin Lakes, where the unarmed teenager was shot, were cleared away by the city of Sanford — further frustrating mourning members of the community.

“This memorial already has brought a lot to this area and to the [Goldsboro] Welcome Center,” Oliver said. “We’ve had people come from Texas, Michigan, Canada, New York. We’ve had people come from everywhere, taking pictures of this memorial and wanting to know the story about it.”

Read more here.

Source: Orlando Sentinel