National Missing Children’s Day was declared by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 on May 25. It was in memory of 6 year old Etan Patz who disappeared while walking home from the school bus stop, two blocks from his home.
The U.S. Department of Justice commemorates National Missing Children’s Day every year with a ceremony to honor the heroic efforts of all those organizations, people, agencies and people who work towards the protection and safety of children. Another organization that holds events to spread awareness among the public is the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The center also started the “Take 25” initiative that encourages people to take 25 minutes to talk to their children about the importance of safety.
This day also spotlights child safety. “The observance also honors the professionals dedicated to protecting children around the country. " Fortunately, most children who go missing do come home but we must remain vigilant in our efforts to keep our children safe and help find them if they go missing.
Important ways to keep our Children safe:
Making online safety a priority
Complete background checks on caregivers and thoroughly check references
Never leave young children unattended in strollers and in cars
Whenever possible, do not dress children in clothing with their names on it
Teach them their address and phone number as young as possible
Remind them never to go anywhere with strangers
If you see something strange or not right regarding an adult and a child, report it
Some Suggested Ways to Observe National Missing Children's Day
Recognize the Dedicated
If there is an organization or person in your community dedicated to the protection of children, organize an event to recognize them. One great way is to spread the word on Social Media.
Organize and Awareness Event
Organize an event with family, friends and neighbors to show the importance of Child Safety. Talk about ways children can be better protected.
Attend a Ceremony
If there’s a ceremony in your community that honors law enforcement and/or citizens to the cause, try to attend. Also, use the hashtag# NationalMissingChildrens’Day and share this information on Social Media.
“Children are the reward of life.”
— Congolese Proverb
Written and Submitted by GSS Agent #0313