Ceremony Held to Recognize Missing Persons Day
Saturday 14 April 2012 - 13:25:00
Nearly 200 survivors, friends of missing persons and interested parties attended the 11th annual New York State Missing Persons Day Ceremony at the NYS Museum Cultural Education Center, in Albany, NY on Saturday. Missing Persons Day, April 6th, Suzanne Lyall’s birthday, was proclaimed by former Governor George Pataki, in New York State, as a special day to provide an opportunity for those affected by the pain and loss of a loved one, to reflect, remember, and to join with others to honor all missing persons. This year families came from as far away as Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Texas and Maryland. The morning session provided an opportunity for families, on ways to cope and how to keep hope alive. Crystal Moore served as the facilitator for a family roundtable session. Crystal is the daughter of Christine Betty Moore who has been missing since 1971. Ms. Moore is an Associate Professor and Social Work Program Director at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. The Center for HOPE, founded by Doug and Mary Lyall, has sponsored NYS Missing Persons Day for the last 11 years. “Since we have known the pain of having a missing loved one, we can offer the example of our own journey to healing as encouragement to those still taking the first steps,” said Mary Lyall. “By doing so, we hope to not only inspire others dealing with having a missing family member but also to make sense of our own pain.”. Doug Lyall stated, “Missing Persons Day provides families of missing loved ones education, support and guidance for each other. The Missing Persons Day annual ceremony continues to create awareness on this issue. Collectively, we offer one another hope.” Assemblyman James Tedisco, presided over the event, which provided education, networking and support for survivors of missing persons. Assemblyman Tedisco stated “The unexpected and unexplained disappearance of a loved one is clouded with uncertainty, and families often fluctuate between hope and hopelessness. Missing Persons Day and this ceremony offer families and friends of missing loved ones an opportunity to garnish support from one another and to remember that there is hope.” The annual HOPE Award was presented to New York State Cultural and Education Center. The award was established to recognize outstanding support, dedication and commitment promoting awareness of missing person’s issues in New York State. The featured guest speaker was Edward Suk, Executive Director of the New York State Division of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), provided families an opportunity to submit their DNA samples for comparison to unidentified decedents. At the conclusion of the day families held a candlelight vigil at the Missing Persons Remembrance. As a token of their love, they placed a yellow rose wreath to remember their missing loved ones.