LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss.- Community officials and city leaders in Lauderdale county joined together to promote a drug free community.
Part of Red Ribbon Week, WTOK reports that they gathered to have a special ceremony kick starting the weeklong event. The week is all about focusing on helping children, and even adults, live a drug free life. Speakers for the event included County Sherriff Billy Sollie, Moeridian Police Chief Benny Dubose, and Meridian Mayor Percy Bland.
Red Ribbon Week began in 1985 by the National Family Partnership, formerly known as the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth. It was in response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena who was tortured in Mexico in 1985. When people continually tried to encourage him not to pursue this career he told them that he wanted to make a difference.
Then 37, Camarena left work to meet his wife for lunch when five men appeared and shoved him into a car. His body was found a month later and it was determined he was tortured to death.
To honor his memory, and the fight he fought in his job daily, friends and neighbors started wearing red badges. Parents and others who were tired of the influence drugs and alcohol had been having on the community formed a coalition and Camarena was the role model for many of them.
In 1988 the NFP sponsored their first National Red Ribbon Celebration and today it is a huge reminder to mobilize communities to teach kids the dangers of drugs.
For more information about Red Ribbon Week and the NFP visit redribbon.org.
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