Each time a child in Shelby County dies as a result of abuse or neglect, the Memphis Child Advocacy Center raises its Children’s Memorial Flag both in mourning and as a call to action for the community to help prevent child abuse.
On Monday morning, a crowd gathered on the front lawn of the center, 1085 Poplar Avenue, as the flag was raised in memory of Lennon Lancaster, who was almost five months old when he died recently.
The baby’s mother, Lori Lewis, has been charged by the Germantown Police Dept. with criminally negligent homicide.
“Let us dedicate ourselves to be stronger than before on behalf of the children,” Virginia Stallworth, MCAC associate director said during the brief memorial service.
According to MCAC, an estimated one in nine cases of child abuse is never reported. Stallworth emphasized the importance of encouraging friends and neighbors to recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect, and to enlist members of the community to help keep children safe.
Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich delivered the closing remarks.
“Thanks to all of you for being here, and thank you for being here everyday,” she said, addressing the staff of MCAC, a private nonprofit that delivers a coordinated community response when allegations of physical or severe sexual child abuse have been made.
The Children’s Memorial Flag will fly for one week in memory of baby Lennon.