I saw a tweet go by this morning that mentioned that the Adam Walsh case was officially being closed today. I thought it important to blog it here, because this case has been ongoing for almost as long as I’ve been alive. Adam Walsh would be my age if he were alive today and when the news broke of his death, I cried for him because that could have just as easily been me.
Adam Walsh disappeared in a time when it was okay to let your kids walk through the toys section while you finished up your shopping and then came back for them. Department stores like that were always full of kids in the toy sections when I was growing up. Sometimes, play groups would form around the displays and I would make new friends there, but after Adam Walsh disappeared, I think every parent in America slept a little less easily.
It was certainly not because children hadn’t disappeared before. No, it was the public suffering of Adam’s father who begged on national television for the return of his son. The tears that streamed down his cheeks as he hoped and prayed that someone, anyone, would find a way to bring his little boy home. I will never forget that broadcast, though I couldn’t find a reference to it anywhere.
John Walsh proved himself to be a forward thinking man. He stopped at absolutely nothing to find his son. He did whatever was necessary within the bounds of the law, and he and his wife rose above their situation. They took their grief and constructed a life. They had three more children after Adam’s murder, and though they almost divorced a few years ago, they stuck it out and have managed to stay together through what I can only imagine as being one of the most horrific tragedies that a family can ever experience. In addition to continuing on as a family, they started the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center and were a driving force behind several laws regarding missing children and became active with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
They helped start the Code Adam program, which you will see signs for in every single grocery store, department store and shopping mall across the country. Code Adam is the response system that store employees use when a parent reports a child missing inside the store. When you hear “Code Adam” over the PA system, you will also hear a description of the missing child. This allows other shoppers in the store to help employees locate and possibly save a child from abduction.
I cannot imagine the strength it must take every day to get out of bed, and work your butt off to honor the memory of your child. No one will ever replace Adam and I pray that this official announcement will finally give the Walsh family some much deserved peace.