This Friday marked 15 years since Queensland teenager Daniel Morcombe was abducted and murdered on the Sunshine Coast.
The story of Daniel and his family resonated with people all across Australia and while his murderer Peter Brett Cowan is serving a life sentence for his horrific crimes, Daniel’s family continue to fight for the safety and protection of children.
Taking to the Daniel Morcombe Foundation page, Daniel’s loving parents posting a heartfelt tribute to their late son on the anniversary of his death.
“15 years on. The world is a very different place to the one Daniel knew. Who could believe it will be 15 years since we lost our son?” Bruce and Denise wrote. “Thankfully he is not forgotten. His tragic story is one that must be retold so that we all reflect and become energised and empowered to learn important life skills to keep kids safe.”
The couple also explained that while the Morcombe family has been through an extremely tough time, they are now in a good place.
“It’s been a tough journey but we are in a happy place,” the continued. “Becoming grandparents and seeing our other sons married are wonderful experiences. We will never forget the generosity and kind embrace of the community. Amazingly that continues today and we thank you, one and all.”
The tribute was posted alongside a photograph of Daniel at school.
Members of the community were quick to post their own tributes to Daniel.
One person wrote: “Daniel will never be out of our minds Bruce and Denise, his gorgeous face is implanted in my mind all the time so glad you have your other sons to help ease the pain a little but of course you will never ever forget him or get over this terrible tragedy. Best of wishes for Christmas to you both and your family.”
Another comment read: “Never ever forgotten. You are keeping other kids safe in his name, and we as parents stand in awe of how you have done that, and in complete appreciation from us and our children.”
A third added: “I’ll never forget Daniel or the strength and determination you both showed to find your beautiful boy. So glad you are both in a happy place now.”
In September, Daniel’s older brother Dean got married to his partner Alice. Denise ensured that Daniel was still part of the special day and posted a tribute to all her sons online.
In one post on Twitter, Denise shared a photograph of Dean, Daniel and his twin brother as small children playing in the snow.
“My boys are now grown up or gone,” she captioned the photo. “Enjoy time with them.”