October 22, 2003 - Issue: Vol. 149, No. 149 — Daily Edition108th Congress (2003 - 2004) - 1st Session
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 74--EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF THE CONGRESS THAT A POSTAGE STAMP SHOULD BE ISSUED AS A TESTIMONIAL TO THE NATION'S TIRELESS COMMITMENT TO REUNITING AMERICA'S MISSING...; Congressional Record Vol. 149, No. 149
(Senate - October 22, 2003)
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[Pages S13056-S13057] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 74--EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF THE CONGRESS THAT A POSTAGE STAMP SHOULD BE ISSUED AS A TESTIMONIAL TO THE NATION'S TIRELESS COMMITMENT TO REUNITING AMERICA'S MISSING CHILDREN WITH THEIR FAMILIES, AND TO HONOR THE MEMORIES OF THOSE CHILDREN WHO WERE VICTIMS OF ABDUCTION AND MURDER Mrs. CLINTON (for herself, Mr. Shelby, Mrs. Lincoln, Mr. DeWine, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Lautenberg, Mr. Hagel, and Mr. Miller) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Governmental Affairs: S. Con. Res. 74 Whereas there are reported missing in the United States approximately 2,000 children each day and up to 800,000 children each year; Whereas the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was established 19 years ago as the Nation's resource center and clearinghouse for information on America's missing children, and issued a national call to action requesting the participation of every citizen to assist in the search for the country's missing youth; Whereas it is the collective responsibility of all Americans to better protect the Nation's children, as well as to assist in the search for those who are missing; Whereas the issuance of a stamp bearing the image of a missing child sends a powerful message, both at its unveiling and on each letter on which it is sent, that Americans will neither tolerate the victimization of their children nor rest until each missing child is reunited with his or her family; and Whereas the Missing Children's Stamp Committee, headquartered in New York State, has collected more than 26,000 letters from around the world in support of such a stamp: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That it is the sense of the Congress that-- (1) a postage stamp should be issued by the United States Postal Service to honor all missing children; and (2) the Citizens' Stamp Commission of the United States Postal Service should recommend to the Postmaster General that such a stamp be issued. Mrs. CLINTON. Mr. President, I rise today with my colleague, Senator Shelby, to submit a resolution to encourage the United States Postal Service Stamp Advisory Committee to issue the National Missing and Exploited Children's Postage Stamp. I am proud to join my colleague Congressman Boehlert, the champion of this legislation in the House, and am honored to be a part of this effort. We introduce this resolution today on the 14th anniversary of the abduction of Jacob Wetterling. Jacob was only 11 years old when he was kidnapped at gunpoint while riding his bike on his way home from a convenience store in St. Joseph, MN. Though he was taken from his family and friends on this day his memory is still alive. With support from his community, Jacob's parents established the Jacob Wetterling Foundation, which has successfully advocated for local and national legislation to help prevent future abductions and to protect thousands of children from sexual predators. There are 800,000 parents every year, like the Wetterlings, who endure the loss of a child and are struggling to come to terms with the helplessness, anger, and frustration that consume them during the ensuing weeks and months. Many of my colleagues know all too well the agony of losing a child. As parents, community members, legislators, we are all affected when a child goes missing. I want to take this opportunity to recognize the important work of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). This organization was established by Congress in 1984 through the Missing Children's Assistance Act to carry out the mission of finding missing children, combating child sexual exploitation, and preventing child victimization. Through its partnership with 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States and abroad, NCMEC's is unparalleled in its commitment to this issue. Last year, I was proud to submit the Code Adam Act, a resolution encouraging public places to employ a Code Adam protocol to thwart child abductions in commercial establishments. The Code Adam protocol was named in memory of 6-year-old Adam Walsh, the son of John Walsh, co-founder of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and host of ``America's Most Wanted.'' Adam was murdered after being kidnapped from a Florida shopping mall in 1981. The Code Adam Protocol requires store employees to announce a ``Code Adam'' alert over the public-address system when a customer reports a missing child. All designated employees receive a brief description of the child, immediately stop their normal work to search for that child, and monitor all exists to help prevent the child from leaving the store. The Code Adam Act was approved by Congress in April of this year as part of the PROTECT Act and was signed into law on April 30, 2003 by the President. It will undoubtedly play an important role in finding missing children and returning them safely to their homes. I was also a proud cosponsor of the National AMBER Alert Network Act of 2003. This Act brings critical financial assistance to States to help them implement AMBER plans. It also creates an AMBER coordinator within the Department of Justice. AMBER, which stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response was created in 1996 after the abduction and murder of Amber Hagerman in Texas. It's an emergency alert plan like that used in storm warnings that alerts a community about the recent disappearance of a child. With the help of the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children, the broadcast community, and members of law enforcement, the AMBER Alert helped find 105 children [[Page S13057]] across the country. Justice Department Statistics show that 74 percent of kidnapped children who are later found murdered are killed within the first 3 hours of their abduction. The National Amber Alert Network Act will help law enforcement, in those early critical hours, as they work hard to find a missing child. I am pleased that it was also approved by Congress and signed into law as part of the PROTECT Act. Ten years ago, on August 18, 1993, Sara Ann Woods, a child of Herkimer County, NY, was abducted as she was riding home from her father's church in Litchfield, NY. After 3 years her kidnapper confessed to her murder, leaving the town devastated. Sara's death has been and continues to be the inspiration behind this legislation. I also want to mention Marc Klaas and John Walsh, the honorary co- chairmen of the Missing Children's Stamp Committee in Mohawk Valley, NY, and Herkimer County Legislator John Brezinski, who has worked tirelessly on this effort. I am pleased to be joined in this effort with Senators Shelby, DeWine, Lincoln, Kennedy, Lautenberg, Hagel and Miller as original cosponsors. According to a poll by Zogby, more than two out of every three Americans support a National Missing and Exploited Children's Postage Stamp. This commemorative stamp will help raise awareness and honor these missing children and their families. This stamp will reach individuals across geographic and socioeconomic spectrums, and we know that when it comes to combating these terrible crimes, awareness is crucial. I urge my colleagues to support this resolution. I believe that it will make a difference in protecting the lives of our children. ____________________