By Dawn Krebs
MARTIN COUNTY -- The flags stand quietly, slowly waving in the breeze. While the sight might be serene, the message the flags bring is a somber one.
That's because each flag stands for a child who died in Florida as a result of child abuse and neglect last year.
The memory field was designed by CASTLE, a nonprofit agency that works to educate parents and families to improve the quality of family life.
This year, 126 flags stand as a reminder there is always more work to be done.
"We've done this program for the past six years," said Rossana Gonzalez, one of the organizers of the event. "We work to share this memory field with the community."
The field actually travels throughout the four-county area that CASTLE serves, which includes Martin, Okeechobee, St. Lucie and Indian River counties. At each location, a small dedication ceremony is held to acknowledge the children who lost their lives.
Each flag has the name and age of one child printed on it. During the ceremony, community leaders speak out on the importance of family.
"Parents and families of the children that died count on these ceremonies as a way to honor these young victims," Ms. Gonzalez said. "The support of the community demonstrates that these precious lives will not be forgotten."
Future memorials include March 12 in Indian River County and April 9 in St. Lucie County.
For more information, call (722) 781-4510 or visit www.castletc.org.