Child abuse prevention highlighted
By Matt Caulder
Published in News on April 9, 2014 1:46 PM
4th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Jeannie Leavitt talks with children at City Hall on Tuesday.
The city of Goldsboro officially opened Child Abuse Prevention Month with a proclamation decrying child abuse and highlighting the importance of children everywhere.
The proclamation was read as part of a larger ceremony Tuesday featuring the Dillard Middle School choir, children from the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Child Development Center preschool and guest speakers from the community, base and child advocacy groups.
The ceremony began with the raising of the U.S. flag and the Children's Memorial Flag.
The memorial flag features paper doll children holding hands while one doll is represented as a white outline for all of the children lost to abuse.
The flag will fly above City Hall all month long, City Manager Scott Stevens said.
Another symbol of the Child Abuse Prevention Month was given to the children to hold during the ceremony, a blue and silver windmill. The windmills, a fun distraction to the children, serve as a reminder of the lives lost to child abuse just the same as the flag.
After the meaning of the flag was explained Tabor Jackson with the Division of Adult Corrections and Juvenile Justice spoke about how to end child abuse in the community. Jackson said it takes caring, confidence and a community committed to ending the abuse.
Col. Jeannie Leavitt, commander of the 4th Fighter Wing, spoke on supporting healthy children, families and communities.
Ms. Leavitt spoke about the importance of a stable home to the airmen fighting overseas.
"Healthy communities support our warfighters." she said. "Safeguarding our children literally allows for our airmen to fly, fight and win."