WATCH ABOVE: The Missing Children’s Network organized their first ever Make Noise for Missing Children event. Rachel Lau was there.
MONTREAL – Thirty-five years ago, Lilian Cyr’s 18-month-old daughter went missing – a cold case, long forgotten by most.
But every year, May 25 marks National Missing Children’s Day and Lilian, along with her daughter Vera, commemorate little Yohanna’s life.
“I still have hope to find something but deep down I wish they’d find anything,” said Lilian Cyr. “Even bones – that’s where I’m at now.”
This year, the Missing Children’s Network organized their first-ever Make Noise for the Missing event, which was held Saturday at the Centre de Loisirs Communautaires Lajeunesse.
The special annual gathering supports the families who have faced the terrors of losing a child.
It is a time to raise awareness about the plight of missing children in the province, as well as emphasize the importance of prevention.
The event is also about remembrance, faith and closure for the families whose children have been taken from them.
“She’s gonna come back, that’s for sure,” said Vera Cyr, Yohanna’s sister. “If she’s alive. I hope so. It would be so wonderful to have her back but if she’s not there, if she’s not alive we’re going to pass over it and at least she’s going to be where we want her to be.”
“I don’t even know what I’d do,” said Lilian Cyr. “If they tell me they found her bones . . . but alive, I wish she would be alive.”
Around 7,000 children are reported missing in Quebec every year. Most are found within the first week of their disappearance, but many remain lost for months – and some, even years.
“There are hundreds of missing children that are still not home,” said Pina Arcamone, the director general of the Missing Children’s Network.
“It’s a day to honour missing children but it’s also a day to talk about prevention and what we can do as adults and parents to keep our children safe.”
Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was at the event to show his support as a politician – and as a father.
“Organizations like Missing Children’s Network are a part of how we need to be focused on drawing together to support each other, to be there for each other,” he said.
“Today is a day that these families are able to share their stories and remind each other that though their children are missing, they will never be forgotten.”