Have you ever looked back at an event, or a time in your life and thought to yourself… ‘How did I survive that?’ I was reflecting back on my childhood after hearing the news of Hailey Owens and I can’t believe how things have changed. Just 15 years ago I was outside playing in our front yard, riding my bike down our gravel roads and didn’t have a care in the world. I wasn’t inside playing video games or on the computer all day, but now, what is there to do outside that is considered safe for kids?
Parents don’t always have the pleasure of being home with their children and being able to watch them play outside around the clock. I always look at the younger generation and question why they don’t play outside as much as I did, or why they are so obsessed with social media website, but I think I finally know the answer. I know my parents encouraged us to go outside and play with our friends. Now, I’m sure parents are much more aware of how dangerous it really is for a child to step out of the house without an adult by their side.
Hailey Owens was an innocent 10-year-old girl from Springfield, Mo. and was kidnapped while walking to her friend’s house. Amber Alerts were immediately published and with the help of eyewitnesses, Craig Woods was found quickly and convicted. Neighbors saw as the kidnapping happened and did all they could to get the license plate number and follow the vehicle. In the end, it wasn’t enough to save Hailey’s life, but it was enough to help the police find Woods and put the case to rest for the family.
Many memorial sites have been started and prayers, cards and flowers have been sent to the family. It’s truly a shame that a child cannot walk outside without having the fear of being abducted; when I was younger I probably never thought about it twice. I can recall watching a video in school about “strangers” but that was the extent of learning about the possibility of being kidnapped.
We can’t pin point the “bad guys” in the world so it is our duty to always keep a watchful eye out for those around us. Make sure your children know not to approach anyone they aren’t familiar with.
By Kristen Harris