Elizabeth Smart Today -
It Just Gets Better and Better
Today Elizabeth Smart is living the life of a typical high school kid in her hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah, exactly what she should be doing. What is not so typical are the special opportunities the quiet 16-year old has been given to thank the people who worked to bring her home. In May 2004, Elizabeth and her family came to Washington, D.C.for the 20th anniversary of the founding of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Her parents, Ed and Lois Smart, were presented with a number of awards. They received the "Making the World Safer for Children Award" for their lobbying efforts on behalf of the national AMBER Alert legislation, and for participating in child safety awareness programs.
Elizabeth helped the nation mark National Missing Children's Day
Elizabeth Performs to Appreciative Crowd
Elizabeth herself was honored at the NCMEC ceremony. She was presented with the award by John Walsh and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. She accepted the award with grace, and afterwards treated the audience to a beautiful melody on the harp. When John Walsh asked her what her dream for the future might be, she said she wanted to continue learning and playing the harp and maybe even attend the famed music school,Julliard. She did acknowledge that competition would be fierce, and she humbly noted she would be lucky to get in.
Elizabeth Helps Mark National MIssing
Later that day, there was another presentation, this one from the Department of Justice. U.S. Attorney General, John Ashcroft honored Elizabeth with an award marking National Missing Children's Day. During the presentation, Ashcroft told Elizabeth that her recovery has given hope to families everywhere. He told her the award was for her bravery and resilience. Though Elizabeth is honored by all the attention, her father Ed Smart says she lives in the present and doesn't dwell in the past. Elizabeth has a part-time job tuning harps and plays professionally one or two times a week. She has her driver's license, and talks non-stop on her cell phone. Her father says it's a miracle to get her back, but it is also a miracle to see how she is going forward.