About Missing Children Day
The creation, the purpose, the events... everything about Missing Children Day is intended to honor missing kids - the children who made it home, the kids who didn’t survive, and those we are still aching to find.
The hope is that this day will also help prevent child abductions and make the world a safer place for our kids.
The First Missing Children’s Day
In 1983 the president of the United States, Ronald Reagan, declared May 25th as National Missing Children Day. And every president since has commemorated this day.
The String Of Mystery...
What spurred the making of a national day of remembrance? Frankly, it was an outbreak of missing kids in the news.
In 1981, a boy went missing in Florida – Adam Walsh. He was later found cruelly murdered.
One man admitted to the murder, but he was never tried. He died of liver failure before authorities could gather enough evidence for a trial.
The couple of years leading up to Adam's kidnapping, another state was making headlines. Bodies of young kids turned up in marshes and lakes throughout Atlanta, Georgia.
And not just a few – 29 bodies were found.
But before all of this, a different boy went missing. May 25, 1979 marks the abduction of 6 year old
of New York. He was on his way to school when he was kidnapped.
His father passed out black and white photos of his son in hopes of finding young Etan. The media picked it up and news of the abduction went national.
Sadly, his story doesn’t have an ending. Etan has never been found.
That’s why May 25th was chosen as the day to memorialize missing children - to honor Etan, the first to go in this string of tragic news.
International Missing Children Day
In 2010, countries in the Global Missing Children’s Network commemorated the first International Missing Children Day.
When May 25th came, several countries released balloons with the faces of missing kids around the globe as a symbol of hope – hope that someone around the world would recognize their picture.
Some countries went further.
Brazil held a one-day seminar. Dutch schools had police come to talk about Missing Children Day with their students. Canada honored a police officer for his outstanding work to find a missing child.
Each country took time to remember missing children around the world.
As parents, we too can commemorate missing children.
- Talk to your kids. Teach them techniques about how to avoid being abducted, getting lost, and the dangers of running away.
- Take your family to a public event supporting Missing Children's Day. Check with your local government offices or schools to see how you can participate.
- Take a few minutes to look at the faces of missing children with your own kids. Do you recognize someone?
The more eyes we have on the lookout for missing kids, the better the chances of them getting home. It only takes one person to make the difference of a lifetime.
Who knows? YOU might be the reason another parent holds their child tomorrow.
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