Every time a parent or caregiver is charged with homicide in the death of a Shelby County child, we raise the Children's Memorial Flag on the lawn of the Memphis Child Advocacy Center.
Every April, we hold the Annual Children's Memorial Flagraising at Memphis City Hall for all the children memorialized over the past 12 months. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Civic leaders, concerned community members, and professionals who fight child abuse every day gather to issue a crucial call to action: We must do everything in our power to keep kids safe.
This year, our Annual Children’s Memorial Flagraising was on Friday, April 13, 2018 at Civic Center Plaza in front of City Hall. Speakers included Mayor Luttrell, Mayor Strickland, MPD Deputy Director Ryall, Executive Director Virginia Stallworth and others working to overcome child abuse and neglect in our community. The ceremony included inspiring music by vocalist Breyannah Tillman and accompanist Brennan Villines. There was a moving presentation by the Memphis Police Color Guard. Wings of Grace and volunteers from the Memphis Collegiate School released a white dove for each child lost. Each dove released circles until all have been released—and then they fly home together.
You can see photos of the ceremony in our Facebook album. Listen to Breyannah's beautiful rendition of "Rise Up" above.
Over 1,500 children died from abuse and neglect in this country in 2013 (CDC). The youngest children are the most vulnerable. About 46% of child abuse & neglect fatalities are younger than 1 year old; 35% are between one and three years.
You can help raise awareness by posting an image of the Children's Memorial Flag on social media. The best times to post the flag image is during the weeks that the flag flies for memorialized children at the Memphis CAC and during April, National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Just use the flag image below.