Justice For All

We just celebrated Independence Day, a time to be thankful for the land we live in, where freedom and justice define us.  A land of opportunity, a land of bounty.

While celebrating, the country shifted it’s attention to the biggest new story in months, the trial of Casey Anthony.  As anyone with TV or internet knows, she was found not guilty and it seemed as though the thread of who we are as a country unraveled in some people’s minds.  Justice hadn’t prevailed.  Freedom wasn’t deserved.

I first heard about the verdict from someone in my office, who walked in and said “a travesty has occurred in Orlando” and I read reaction from many people on Facebook later.  All were outraged.  Some at the jury, some at the prosecution, some at our system.  Within a short time, groups and pages had formed, with invitations to ‘sign the Caylee petition’ and ‘leave your porch lights on for Caylee’ among others.  Now I became outraged.

I have to say it.  I’m outraged by the numbers of people doing meaningless things in the name of Caylee, even though I know the intentions are good.  But I don’t believe that leaving a porch light on will help anyone, but will allow people to feel good for a few minutes that they’ve done something in a situation they feel powerless in.  I’m outraged by the media coverage of every minute of this trial, when there are parents of missing children who beg for help and can’t get their faces shown.  I’m outraged not that someone didn’t report their child missing, but that thousands do and nothing is done.

On the other hand, I’m not encouraged by millions of people turning on a porch light, but am by the hundreds who will be out volunteering on a search for someone’s missing loved one tomorrow.  I’m not encouraged by the person who started a petition to make not reporting a missing child a felony, but by the parents who have lobbied congress for years to pass bills that change how a missing persons case is handled once reported. 

Don’t get me wrong, Caylee’s death was a tragedy and so very sad.  But if each person who was so impacted by this case spent just as much time looking at the faces of the missing, we might have a surge of children found.  A million porch lights on is nice.  One missing child brought home because of the caring hearts of those moved by this case?  Now that would be a way to honor Caylee.  

Missing Children and Adults in Jacksonville and Ways to Help

Missing Children and Adults Nationwide Listed and Support for Families of Missing

Missing Children and Adults Nationwide Listed and Search Volunteer Needs


  1. It’s so sad, but true. Everyone wants to “do something” the easy way; like turning their porch lights on. (I’m sure the power companies are so happy for it. )

  2. Didn’t even think of that, probably an electric company employee who started it! Kidding 🙂

  3. Well said Anita!

  4. Anita……….so perfectly worded!!!

  5. My facebook blew up after the trial results, and the “porchlight” event went viral. Although, we know that turning on a porch light doesn’t solve a thing, many people just do not realize the intensity of a missing or harmed, or murdered child. I think of the thousands of missing people, and I think of the millions of people that have never experienced a missing person alert in their family, let alone neighborhood.

    I think people react and help when they can.

    A 13 year old girl went missing last summer, potential runaway, but possible abduction. The family and friends created a “Find Missing…” page on facebook and twitter. We were out looking, and people found her, safe, but shaken up. It never made the news, no porch lights left on.

    I can bet you, the family, with no disrespect towards the missing, had their porch lights on all night for Caylee, since in their mind their hands were tied to help that situation.

    Just my two cents. I had the porch light on til zi went to bed. I am also an active member for Peace for the Missing. I wish I had more time to help.

  6. Kimmy, thanks for your comment. I think people are well intentioned and good hearted in general. Some of those I know with incredible hearts who do good work were some of those spreading the viral efforts. But being well intentioned does nothing for those who need help, and while sitting quiet about it would have been simpler for me, a confrontation phobe, I couldn’t not say my thoughts. Until we all take action, not even necessarily for missing, buy for something we believe in, we’ll never see the full potential of a land of freedom and bounty.

    Thanks for the work you do, now if we can only urge others on to do the same… that is why the outrage by the missing community, not just me.

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