In honour of National Children’s Day, 1,000 daycare kids marched in the streets of Montreal Thursday.
Their tiny footsteps are in solidarity with the Missing Children’s Network, working to keep hope alive for families who have been affected by disappearances.
Since 2004, the network has proclaimed May 25 as the one day of the year where the country can put a spotlight on missing children cases and remind families that their children are not forgotten.
“It is also a day to sensitize the public about what they can do to help prevent these tragedies, right here in our backyard,” said Pina Arcamone, director general of the Missing Children’s Network.
So far this year in Quebec, Arcamone says their office has registered a record number of missing children’s cases.
There have been 71 new cases since January 2017 and, even though they have resolved 52 of them, there are still many children out there whose families are still looking for answers.
“We are hoping that today, people will go take a look at our website, look at all the cases and download all of the posters,” Arcamone said.
“We know that in every file there is one person who has the answers, who has part of the puzzle to help us with a resolution.”
Since travel season will soon be upon us, she said she wants to encourage the public to be looking out for these kids.
Some of the cases in their office date back to as early as the 1950s and 1960s.
“There are still dozens of families here in Quebec that as of today don’t know what has happened to their child and are seeking answers,” Arcamone said.
She said she wants people to know that regardless of the amount of time that has passed, it is still possible to find answers and confidential tips are always helpful no matter how many years later.
“We are just hoping that this commitment will continue to grow,” Arcamone said.
“For families, it is the comfort in knowing their child has not been forgotten. I think it just puts a little bit of balm on their suffering as well. These families are so appreciative.”
“When they are just doing their groceries and someone comes up and just offers words of support, it allows them to get up every day and to face another day without their child, always with the hope that maybe today is the day that the answer will come.”
After the children’s march Thursday, she said she is hoping that this commitment will continue to grow.
“When we see these children in the streets today we see how important children are in our lives and our responsibility as adults to ensure the well-being each and every day of the year,” Arcamone said.