Proclamation 5194 -- Missing Children Day, 1984

May 15, 1984

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Each year hundreds of thousands of American families face the stark terror of a unique tragedy -- that of a missing child. Our children are our most precious resource -- they are the bond that binds our past with the future. It is for them that we struggle to build a better world. They are the embodiment of our hopes and dreams. To have a child simply disappear strikes an incalculable blow against the spirit and soul of any family so afflicted.

In our efforts to address the nightmare of missing children, 1984 marks the year of a significant step forward. The Department of Justice has awarded a $3.3 million grant to establish a National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Its purpose is to aid parents and law enforcement agencies in locating missing youngsters and preventing the exploitation of children. By collecting and disseminating information regarding missing young people, the Center will lend major support to those searching for their children.

As a Nation committed to the worth of every individual, there can be no more imperative goal for our society than the protection and safety of our young people. It is hoped that these new efforts combined with the increasing awareness of the seriousness of this problem will encourage greater vigilance by the agencies that work to solve this singular type of crime.

As a Nation and as individuals, we all have a responsibility to direct our resources and our efforts to this worthy goal.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 25, 1984, as Missing Children Day. I urge officials at all levels of government to take decisive action to ensure the safety and protection of the children in their respective jurisdictions, and I urge all our law enforcement agencies to take particular notice of the danger that threatens any child who has lost his or her home. I urge every American family to take the proper precautions to protect their children.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 15th day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:55 a.m., May 16, 1984]