Updated 04/12/2010 08:23 AM
Lives remembered at ninth annual missing person’s ceremony
Lives of the missing were remembered in the ninth annual Missing Persons Ceremony at the New York State Museum. Our Erin Vannella was there and brings us the story.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Ed Smart's daughter Elizabeth disappeared in 2002. Nine months later she was rescued; a rare miracle-ending to the stories of so many whose loved ones disappear and are never heard from again.
"When you've lost your child, you're just at a complete loss," said Smart. "Nobody cares like you care. It's certainly a very steep climb in finding your child."
Smart spoke to an audience of family members and friends who gather every year at the state’s missing person’s ceremony to share courage and to support those whose children have disappeared.
"To hear all of the stories that are unresolved and still so painful kind of puts you back in the mode that I used to be in with Elizabeth missing and knowing how painful that is," said Smart.
Tears fell as names and faces of the missing resurfaced. For some time doesn't heal. Instead, they say, it's more a matter of finding a "new normal."
Doug and Mary Lyall's daughter Suzanne was last seen 12 years ago on the U-Albany campus. Since then, they've been instrumental in helping pass the Amber Alert Law and by reaching out to the public at ceremonies like this. It's been their mission to give hope to others who find pain in the empty search.
"I think hope has a couple different meanings here," said Doug Lyall. "We always hope that our loved one will return home safe, but we know that's not always going to happen. The other part of hope is that life will somehow be better in the future, whatever happens."
Last week Governor Paterson submitted legislation expanding the Amber Alert system to include adults at particular risk who are missing.