Thursday, May 27, 2010

National Missing Children's Day

All of us have heard the news broadcasts.

We have all been driving in our cars, enjoying our day when we hear an Amber Alert over the airwaves.

As a parent and a caring human being in general, these things break my heart. I'm sure many of you feel the same way.

This morning while perusing through the news stories on my home page, I came across one story of a little boy that disappeared 31 years ago never to be heard from again. On May 25, 1979, six year old Etan Patz walked from his lower Manhattan home to a bus stop two blocks away while on his way to school. His abduction sparked national attention on the problem of and the lack of plans addressing child abduction. His face would become the first to be put on a milk carton and his case would turn May 25 into National Missing Children's Day.

Another high-profile missing child case came in July of 1981. Six year old Adam Walsh went missing from a shopping mall in Florida. His parents were disappointed to find that there was no protocol on neither a state or federal level to help them in the frantic search for their son. We know, of course, that his disappearance lead his father, John Walsh, to start the t.v. show America's Most Wanted.

These events, as well as a three year long spree between June of 1979 and May of 1981 that consisted of the killing of 29 adolescent children in Atlanta, Georgia, led to the exposure of the flaws in the handling of child abduction cases.

Now, I don't know about you, but this is one of my biggest fears for my own children. It is always in the back of my mind when we are in a busy public place. Call me paranoid, but I don't really even let my older kids play in our own front yard without checking on them constantly. And they're 12 and 9!

I wish I would have realized that National Missing Children's Day was actually two days ago because I would have written this post then. Regardless of what the date on the calendar is, I urge you to pay attention to those Amber Alerts from all over the country.

Check the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children board featured at your local Wal-Mart or anywhere else they may be posted.

Check their website occasionally as well.

Our children are our future.

There is no future without them.

1 comment:

Kate said...

This is one of my deepest fears. I don't like when my children are outside because I worry constantly about what will happen to them.