From the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) website:
“May 25th is the anniversary of the day in 1979 when 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from a New York street corner on his way to school and has been observed as National Missing Children’s Day since 1983 when it was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan. Etan’s story captivated the nation. His photo, taken by his father, a professional photographer was circulated nationwide and appeared in media across the country and around the world. The powerful image of Etan has come to symbolize the anguish and trauma of thousands of searching families. The search for Etan continues. He is still missing.” http://www.missingkids.com/missingkids/servlet/NewsEventServlet?LanguageCountry=en_US&PageId=4498
As the day approached I prayed for God’s direction for today’s blog. I want this to be a special blog dedicated to all our missing children and their families. While many families remember their missing loved one on their birthday or the anniversary of their kidnapping, many of us are overwhelmed with emotions on a day like this. Not only do our families, neighbors, community and friends remember our missing loved ones but the entire nation remember the 800,000 children reported missing each year, this is over 2,000 each day! Of this number, one fourth have been abducted by a family member and 58,000 are abducted by non-family members. Out of that number, it is estimated that only 115 “…are the victims of the most serious abductions, taken by non-family members and either murdered, held for ransom, or taken with the intent to keep.” My sister falls in this percentage…will you join me in saying a special prayer for her today along with the prayers of all our missing? Thank you!
I didn’t want to overwhelm anyone with statistics or require you to purchase any more tissues yet I wanted to express the importance of advocacy and remembrance for our missing ~ God provided a wonderful story for me to share with you. One of celebration and victory as one child’s abductor is sentenced to life in prison, and she was able to be there to say her peace and stand with strength and faith to watch him receive his sentence.
Elizabeth Smart was only fourteen years old when she was kidnapped from her bedroom with a knife to her throat. She spent nine months being held against her will with the unthinkable happening daily. Thankfully someone recognized her face from one of the missing person flyers and made the call ~ Elizabeth was returned to her parents alive. She returned home from a mission trip in France to attend Brian David Mitchell’s sentencing. He received a life sentence in jail and his wife, Wanda Barzee is already serving a fifteen year sentence for charges related to Elizabeth’s case.
As I watched Elizabeth Smart speak with reporters today, her father standing strong behind her ~ I cried. I cried tears of joy for the victory and justice in their lives. I cried as I watched her father, Ed Smart fight back tears. I cried knowing today, Missing Children’s Day would mean more to the Smart family than it has in the past. A day to remember our missing children and the day America’s next child advocate, Elizabeth Smart addressed the media with her pledge to advocate for other children and protect them from kidnapping. Thank you Elizabeth for your strength, perseverance and faith!
Thank you for following my blog and thank you for praying for all our missing children to be recovered and returned to their families. I pray the thousands of unidentified bodies would be identified so they can have proper burials and stop their family’s search. May there be no more missing children and our current missing children, be found.