01/21/2012 § 3 Comments
HAVE AMBER ALERTS SENT TO YOU
AMBER stands for ‘America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.’
“…was created as a legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas, then brutally murdered.” -EMM
Why wouldn’t anyone do this? It’s simple… its easy… it takes little to no effort. The payoff, however, could be tremendous.
Again, I encourage everyone to do this.. Every Monday Matters or not… because it really is that easy, and it really is that important. You can have these alerts come straight to your computer in a ticker form, or even sent right to your cell phone or other mobile device I’m sure. It is essentially a system to alert the public on missing children in their areas, in hopes of aiding a safe return for that child. The fact that a system like this is needed in the first place is a sad and disconcerting thought; but since it is needed I’m so glad it exists. I’m not a mom of the two-legged variety yet, but I imagine that as a parent all you can hope for your children is that they have the skills and knowledge and luck to avert a fate as sad as Amber Hagerman’s.
Children are precious, and I believe in community… knowing that you are not alone in raising your child. Because in truth it’s you as well as your family, your peers, their peers, the entire community shaping them into who they will become. So why not have the same amount of people, more in fact, looking out for them and protecting them when sometimes you can’t? As a child, I got locked out ALL the time. It was nothing of my parent’s doing… I was forgetful and in an era of no cell phones. We had wonderful neighbors and I would go ring their doorbell, sit with them while they called my parents and then my Pop Jeep, who would come over with a key to let me in. So when our neighbor’s 9-year-old son was wandering around the front lawn a few months ago, as I was getting home from work, I asked him if everything was okay. He told me he was locked out without his cell phone (whaaaat????) and not sure where his big sister was. So as opposed to him sitting out on his front porch waiting for some one to come home, we invited him in. He sat on the back porch with us (which is in clear view of his own backyard) and he played with the pups while Jeff gave his dad a text to let him know that his son was with us. It’s that kind of community that I’d love to see more of in this world. When my children get locked out (because they will, I’m sure) I know my neighbors as well would take them in, call me, make sure that in my absence everything is still okay. That is how I view the AMBER Alerts, its a broad community all looking out for the welfare of the kids who may not have had good neighbors that invited them in. Unfortunately in researching this weeks task, I found more than anyone’s fair share of awful, heartbreaking stories. I’ve seen, first hand, what it’s like for a mother to lose her child prematurely. It’s something I would never, ever wish on anyone… friend, foe, or otherwise.
Amber Hagerman was my age; born the same year… probably would have graduated the same year as well. Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in the issues of our lives that, in that moment, seem so dire and important that we take for granted the simple fact that we even have our lives in the first place. I look back at fighting with my parents, and first loves lost, and all the ‘tragedies’ of my youth… and can now see how truly good I had it. Amber Hagerman didn’t get to experience any of those things, and truth is- as she was riding her bike in Texas that day… I was probably riding mine a world away. One day I’ll be able to speak to this with full, gut-wrenching, empathetic words… but for now all I have is sympathy. Sympathy for the children still out there, and sympathy for the families that are left behind… either battling the unknown, or facing tragic realities.
So here’s to all the missing children waiting for a way home…. and here’s to a few amazing kids that are especially close to my heart.
A few other links for thought….
http://www.alert.pa.gov – This is the site I had to go on to get my Amber Alerts sent to my phone, email, and any other device that you wish…
http://www.codeamber.org – This is the site to go to get a ticker downloaded to your computer, or a widget if you’d like for your blog or any other website.
http://www.amberalerts.gov – This is the site that gives you gives you a run down of any state’s particular website for Amber Alerts, and any general information about the system in general.
(Side note: I’m posting early because I’m feeling quite yucky this past week and not entirely sure I’ll wake up early enough tomorrow)