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 at the Memphis Child Advocacy Center. Each 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 13, 2022, we remembered seven Shelby County children lost to abuse or neglect. Because severe storms were predicted, the event was held at the Vasco A. Smith, Jr. Shelby County Administration Building. Executive Director Virginia Stallworth welcomed the gathering inside the Shelby County Administration Building lobby. The Memphis Police Department Color Guard presented the Children’s Memorial Flag. Each child’s name was read aloud by a community leader, followed by a single ring of a Carillion hand bell. Readers were Mayor Jim Strickland, Mayor Lee Harris, District Attorney General Amy Weirich, MPD Chief CJ Davis, Shelby County Sheriff Assistant Chief Jason Pagenkopf, TN Department of Children’s Services Deputy Commissioner Carla Aaron, and Le Bonheur President/CEO Michael Wiggins. Guitarist T.O. Crivens Jr. played “Unforgettable” and “Amazing Grace”. Director of Interagency Partnerships Lydia Crivens closed the ceremony.
We remembered 14-year-old Brandon Gray, 2-day-old Kennedy Hoyle,3-year-old Bryson Jackson, 2-year-old Charvez James, 1-year-old Kingston Jenkins, 17-month-old Douglas Mims, 10-year-old Kamari Reed, and all children who have been lost to abuse or neglect.
Watch this moving video as the children’s names are read.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. During April, the Children’s Memorial Flag flies at Civic Center Plaza next to Memphis City Hall and at the Memphis CAC campus for the month of April to remember all children lost or at risk.
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 the flag flies at the Memphis CAC and during April, National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Just use the flag image below.