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Child Abuse Victims Remembered with Vigil

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The list of child abuse victims with their causes of death is one that strikes close to home.
RALEIGH — In Raleigh this weekend, hundreds will honor children who died at the hands of abusers. Child advocates are holding a 45-hour vigil to rememberthe children who died violently in North Carolina last year. Peoplesurrounding the NC State University belltower are calling on all of us todo something to prevent the death of another child.

It is a list of unspeakable horrors: starvation, poison and fire. That'show 45 children were murdered in North Carolina last year.

Ilene Nelson, a child advocate, spoke before the vigil Friday. Sheaccepted a collective responsibility for those who never get dessert, whohave no safe blanket to drag behind them and who watch their parents watchthem die.

Tiny t-shirts are a reminder of the fragile bodies battered and broken. There are candles with the names of 45 children who died too young.

Elizabeth Warren of Prevent Child Abuse in North Carolina says the purposeof the event is to honor the chldren who have died, to remember them andlet the community grieve over their loss.

On October 7, 1996, Zachary was admitted to the hospital with critical head wounds. Jamie Robertson's son Zachary died in October of 1996. Hisaunt and her boyfriend are charged with murder.

Robertson couldn't hold back her emotions as she remembered her son.

"Never again will his mother be able to see his blue eyes shining withlaughter, never feel his arms around his neck, and never again hear hislittle voice say 'Mommy, I love you.'"

Zachary's candle is the first of 45 that will be lit over the next 45hours. In addition to the candles, a tree will be planted in memory of eachchild. It's just another way to make sure these children are notforgotten.

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