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, during National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we hold our Annual Children's Memorial Flagraising ceremony at Memphis City Hall. At this event, we memorialize all children who died in the past year.
On April 26, community leaders and CAC staff remembered eight Shelby County children lost to abuse over the last twelve months. Executive Director Virginia Stallworth welcomed the gathering outside Memphis City Hall. Each child’s name child was read aloud, followed by a single ring of a Carillon hand bell. Wings of Grace released white doves in their memory. Director of Interagency Partnerships Lydia Crivens led the Call to the Community. See event video below.
The Children’s Memorial Flag was raised at Civic Center Plaza and the CAC lawn on April 1, 2021. The flags will fly for the month of April. Traditionally, we hold the Children’s Memorial Flagraising in April and invite the public. This year, because with COVID-19 restrictions, we could not invite the community to join us.
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.
Breyannah Tillman moved us at the 2018 Children's Memorial Flagraising with her rendition of "Rise Up". Brennan Villines, accompanist.