The fourth Friday in April is set aside for Children's Memorial Day. Friday, the Tallahassee Police Department joined others across the nation to remember children lost last year to violence.
A red, white and blue flag flies high above the Tallahassee Police Department. It's not “old glory,” but the children's memorial flag in honor of the thousands of children across the country lost in the last year to violence.
CAPT Kelly Burke with TPD says, "Across the United States three children die because of abuse or neglect every day. Another 3,000 are reported missing each day."
Leon County has seen its share of violence against children. In December of 2004, Terrell Futch was accused of murdering his four-month-old daughter. An autopsy report revealed everything from bite marks to broken bones, and the brain hemorrhage that killed her.
Leslie Miller, a victims’ advocate with the Tallahassee Police Department, says, "[I] work in field [and am]very aware of abuse, [I] see [it] everyday and [the] community [is] not aware, doesn't want to think about."
Children's Memorial Day brings together all persons working the front lines against child abuse. People like Emma Thomas with Florida's Department of Children and Families.
Emma says, " [It’s a] hard feeling to know [the] child must experience those feelings."
Fortunately, so far this year, Tallahassee has not lost a child to violence. Officials hope raising this flag will raise the awareness needed to keep it that way.
The children's memorial flag was designed by a child. In the center is a white chalk outline of a child, symbolizing the children lost to violence.