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Carole Mikita ReportingThe safe return of Elizabeth Smart made international headlines, and as the one-year anniversary approaches, her parents, Ed and Lois Smart talked with reporters.
Ed and Lois Smart say they too are surprised at the passage of time and at how life goes on.
Lois Smart: "As long and slow as those nine months dragged out while she was missing, this year has just gone so fast, so fast."
On March 12th, 2003 Ed and Lois Smart say a miracle happened, their then 15-year-old daughter Elizabeth, missing for months, was returned safely home. Elizabeth Smart is now a sophomore at East High School, doing well academically, her parents say. She has lots of friends, still plays her harp and has an after-school job tuning harps.
Lois: "Driving has entered into the picture, yes. And dating, yes. And worrying more, yes."
As the anniversary approaches, the Smarts look back on a year filled with media attention. Elizabeth spoke briefly with Katie Couric. Her parents made the rounds, promoting a made-for-TV movie about their ordeal and a book tour.
Ed Smart: "We don't have any regrets about that. It wasn't the most wonderful experience in life, but it was, we felt it was important to do and to have it over with and move on with life."
Elizabeth, they say, has no interest in any more interviews, but may have to testify at the up-coming trial of her alleged captors, Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee. Ed and Lois Smart say the delays are actually good for Elizabeth.
Lois: "It just gives Elizabeth that much longer to heal and that much more time between it, and the stronger she becomes."
The Smarts will participate in a community gathering on the anniversary; they want to help other missing children.
Ed: "It's really a partnership by way of law enforcement, education and prevention."
That community gathering, called Partners for Safety, will be Friday, March 12th from 5 to 7pm at the Pioneer Police Office.