Friday, March 25, 2005

Innocence Lost

It was thirty years ago today that where I grew up -- my neighborhood, my town, my county in suburban Maryland -- had its innocence taken. Prior to then, kids used to run around wherever they wanted -- roaming freely around malls, creeks and various parks. But on March 25, 1975, all of that changed. That is the day when Sheila and Katherine Lyon, were snatched during their walk home from the local mall, Wheaton Plaza. They were only 12 and 10 years old. It sent shockwaves through the school district, as we were all told to never go to the mall by ourselves again.

I can walk up to almost anyone today from my county who is my age... up to probably 20 years older and ask if they remember the Lyon sisters and invariably their eyes will go wide as they exclaim how the girls' abduction changed their lives.

My heart goes out to their family and friends. Please know that these two girls have not been forgotten.


At 6:31 PM, Blogger patrickafir said...

Yikes. How sad.

It's weird—I remember being a kid and we'd take off all day: to a friend's house, in the woods, wherever... And our parents would never worry so long as we called to check in. If I had kids now, I think I'd be pretty paranoid whenever they left the house.

At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also grew up near Wheaton Plaza, and it is amazing how well I remember that time. I was slightly older than the Lyon girls, but it affected me greatly. Every time I hear of missing children, I am reminded of that feeling, and I feel for the parents, who never did learn what happened to their children. Every story about a child who was found, years later, alive and well would have brought hope that maybe...30's hard to imagine the parents spending all that time wondering. It's affected me and I didn't even know them.

At 7:02 PM, Blogger Esther said...

I would be so over protective, I bet, if I were to have kids. The world is quite scary these days.

Anon -- I'm so with you. It totally affected me and I didn't know them either. I was much younger than them but my sisters were close in age to them. Thanks for proving my point about how it affected those of us in the area.

At 8:25 PM, Blogger MissingLink said...

"to a friend's house, in the woods, wherever...'

That's right, and my parents even ecouraged us to go and do things on our own to be more "independent".

These days you'd need a private body guard with you around the places where I grew up.

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Sergeant America said...

Having my youth ... span the '50's and '60's, I can empathize with those finding "innocence lost." Activists, the A without a CLU(e), and myriad of other less noted factors have allowed this situation to evolve. The "necessity"(?) of "two parent income" families, changes in education priorities, and single parent households have long since left the "latchkey" child in the darkness of the age.

Neighbors, who are not neighborly. Individuals who have been allowed to claim their perversion as a "norm." Hollywood's influence by the cinema and television entering the home and neighborhood with a misguided thesis of life and mores with no one "home" to resolve issues brought forth to the young viewers. These situations have all aided in doors locked, interaction withdrawal and a desensitized generation(s) without a moral compass or parental guide.

The phrase "Signs of the Times" has taken on a new interpretation and has allowed those who "follow the crowd" to be fooled, yet again. Taking back "innocence" is a concept long needed. I only hope, for my grandchildren, that it does come to fruition.

Otherwise ... more darkness will prevail ...

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Gindy said...

This is a good topic. Something that should be considered by everyone.

"Prior to then, kids used to run around wherever they wanted -- roaming freely around malls, creeks and various parks."

We used to be able to go anywhere. I used to walk home from school by myself if no one else was going my way. Those days are probably long gone.

At 4:11 PM, Blogger MissingLink said...

SA your observasions are spot on.

"Having my youth ... span the '50's and '60's"

You must be my vinatage then.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger RomanWanderer said...

I was thinking about this earlier today. I think when we were growing up adults told us how ugly the world used to be, and how much better it is today, but that's far from true. Our grandparents had different types of enemies on their heels, and we have human nature at its worst- rape, extorsion, pedophilia, murder...

Of course that's a pessimistic view and there are beautiful and pure things out there, but there's also the 'awareness' factor. Awareness is important for our safety, but the more you worry and try to protect your child, the less of a real childhood he has.
But I don't have kids, so maybe actual parents would claim otherwise.

At 7:08 AM, Blogger Sergeant America said...

"Felis said ... SA your observasions are spot on.


You must be my vinatage then


Kind words ... "thank you!" I'd like to think that my "youth" is now captured within an aging shell ... An active 58 year old mind may yet yield one to have some credibility ... ;)

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Tom Carter said...

Nice post, Esther. In light of the number of children abducted and murdered since then, it's obvious that things have changed forever. Sad.


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