Audrey Fitzpatrick - the mother of missing teen Amy Fitzpatrick - and her partner Dave Mahon were among those at an emotional National Missing Person's Day commemoration.
At Farmleigh House, they heard Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald reassure families of missing people that they have not given up on their loved ones.
"It's a very moving event, to go in and meet families and to meet a mother who has lost her son at 18 years old and doesn't know what has happened to him. Or to lose a brother or sister," Ms Fitzgerald said.
"It's extremely upsetting for them. And all you can say is that every single individual person is continuing to be investigated."
Families of the missing placed roses in a lake in their honour as part of the ceremony.
Among them was Michael McConville, the son of Jean McConville, one of the 'The Disappeared'. The mother-of-10 was abducted by the IRA and murdered. Her body has never been found.