There was a special tribute in Saint John on Friday to honour the memories of two young children who died tragically more than 20 years ago.

Three-year-old John Ryan Turner of Miramichi was starved to death by his parents in 1994. Two years later, two-year-old Jacqueline Dawn Brewer died of dehydration and neglect in Saint John.

Dozens gathered in Rainbow Park Friday morning in sombre remembrance of them.

"It brought the children back to us. Brought them back full force in our memories again, even though that's never really faded,"  says south-end Saint John resident Maggie Rice.

Jacqueline Brewer lived her all-too-short life in the south end of Saint John. Her parents were tried, convicted and sentenced to prison. At the time, Justice Hugh MacLellan suggested that the city needed to erect a monument to remember the little girl.

"I remember when it happened and how people reacted and how shocked they were and devastated. It was just something that was really unheard of," says Shirley McAlary, who was mayor at the time.

A section of Rainbow Park has been renamed the Turner-Brewer Memorial Garden.

"It's been 20 years in the making, I don't think people are going to forget this. This is going to be a place of solace," says Mary LeSage, South End Community co-ordinator.

"We should remind ourselves, everybody. Children, police officers, politicians, everybody in our communities that we can do better," says New Brunswick Deputy Premier Stephen Horsman.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.