LUCAS COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - A memorial service was held on Friday at Lucas County Children Services to remember young lives lost to abuse this past year.
Gun violence, unfit caretakers, and the opioid epidemic are all examples of the types of cases of abuse and neglect flooding Lucas County Children Services.
Friday's memorial service was not only to remember the young lives lost but to serve as a reminder that protecting children is everybody's business.
Candles lit at the service represented 6 children who have died in Lucas County due to abuse, neglect or violence.
One of the candles was to remember the life of 11-month-old Nehemiah Wright.
Nehemiah was killed after being left with a man who police say caused his death.
Nehemiah's grandmother remembers his tight hugs and big smiles.
"He was taken too soon but I think about him every day that was my little guy," said Michelle Wright.
Police say two other children in 2018 were also killed at the hands of their caretakers.
"Just to pick and choose who is around your children that is the main thing to thoroughly investigate you got to pick and choose," said Wright.
Also remembered at Friday service were the children who have suffered abuse, 17 hundred cases were confirmed in 2017, up 9 percent from the year before, a statistic that we all need to take notice of and act on.
"We have to reach out to these families and put our hands on them if they are struggling and they need help somehow. We have to help them and people have to make wise choices when it comes to their care taker," said Robin Reese, with Children Services.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.