LEWISBURG, WV (WVNS) – Every day, an average of five children die nationwide as a result of child abuse or neglect.

At a ceremony to honor those lives lost, Mayor Beverly White declared Friday, April 29, Children’s Memorial Flag Day in Lewisburg.

“Today is Children’s Memorial Flag Day and what that day means is that we are going to honor all the children who have sadly been victims of abuse and neglect and passed away because of that,” said Amanda Thomas, who works with West Virginia Children’s Home Society and was one of the co-hosts of the event.

Citizens gathered in the greenspace area in downtown Lewisburg to honor the Children’s Memorial flag and all of the children across the world who died from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.

“The flag has some paper-outlined, blue children holding hands. The child in the middle unfortunately is missing. It’s just outlined in chalk. And that child represents the children missing from our community,” said Terri White, also of the West Virginia Children’s Home Society.

Community members who go above and beyond to help children who are victims of abuse and neglect were honored at the ceremony as well.

Attendees were also asked to hold pinwheels, which are used as a symbol for children who are victims of abuse, and the innocence of childhood their abusers take from them.

“The pinwheel represents all things fun in your childhood,” said White. “It represents playfulness, joy and happiness, and all the things that every child should be guaranteed. Every child should be guaranteed those things and unfortunately, the sad reality is they are not.”

If you want to get involved and make a difference for children who have been the victims of abuse or neglect, visit www.ChildHSWV.org