On February 3rd, National Missing Persons Day focuses the country’s attention long enough to recognize a missing person.
It might be surprising to learn that every day in the United States, approximately 2,300 people are reported missing. However, those numbers no longer surprise anyone making the report, waiting at home for their loved one, or actively looking for them.
When such a large part of our lives goes missing, it leaves a profound void. It’s not a fillable space. Those who have experienced it, those who report 2,300 missing people per day, know.
Everyone has a friend, mother, sibling, child, neighbor, or coworker they see every day. No one expects to have them mysteriously and disappear from their lives with no explanation. It’s a challenging thought. One so difficult to contemplate, it makes it hard to attract the attention of those unfamiliar with the missing person to become involved.
It won’t happen to me.
We often think it won’t happen to us. However, when a person goes missing, it can be an adult as often as a child. Women disappear more than men, and seniors are at risk, too. Health risks, natural disasters, unplanned circumstances, and of course, those who are taken against their will fall into the list of statistics. They can all apply to us.
According to the 2016 National Crime Information Center’s stastics, there were 88,040 active missing person records.
The families of those who go missing need the support of neighbors and friends. They need our help to continue the search, to keep getting the word out. At the same time, make a plan for your own family. Make it a priority to take the simple steps to be educated and aware.
Fortunately, in today’s digital world, it’s easier than ever. National Missing Persons Day encourages you to be alert, share their names, their pictures and bring them home to their families.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalMissingPersonsDay
- Support the search for missing persons.
- Visit the sites listed below to bring more awareness to the plight of missing persons.
- Take precautions to keep you and your family safe.
- Share a missing person’s story.
- Use #NationalMissingPersonsDay to share on social media.
Use #NationalMissingPersonsDay to share on social media.
NATIONAL MISSING PERSONS DAY HISTORY
Jo Ann Lowitzer founded National Missing Persons Day to provide increased awareness of the needs of the missing. Her daughter, Alexandria, went missing in 2010. Continued alertness and awareness improve the chances of returning loved ones to their families.
Missing Persons FAQ
Q. What defines a missing person?
A. In the United States, the legal definition of a missing person is defined as “a person 18 years or older whose disappearance is possibly not voluntary, or a child whose whereabouts are unknown to the child’s legal guardian.”
Q. When did the AMBER Alert System go into effect?
A. The AMBER Alert System became active in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, in 1996. All 50 states, Washington D.C., U.S. tribal authorities, and U.S. territories currently participate in the system.
Q. What other systems are in place for missing persons?
A. Many states have implemented the Silver Alert System designed to help find missing senior citizens and those with health conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Some states have also developed a Camo Alert for missing former and current members of the armed services who may be suffering from mental illness.