Monday, April 16, 2007

Sympathies to VT students, staff and families

I have nothing to say except that the Virginia Tech community has my sympathies... and I agree with Steve Benen that a general moratorium on trying to make a political point about anything that uses this tragedy as evidence would be a good idea for at least a couple of hours.

Update By Cernig. I wholeheartedly second Fester's sympathies.

Unfortunately, it's already too late to avoid this tragedy being used to try to score political points.

Update 2 By Cernig. Shamanic, Fester and I used to work on a group-blog alongside a guy who goes by the name of Mr. M. Sometimes he's good, sometimes he's very good.

Today, on this subject, he is simply awsesome.

My wife and I have a "hers, mine and ours" family. I've an adopted eldest daughter, a brace of step-kids, two from a previous marriage and one three year old we share the "blame" for. So when I read Mr. M's post on this it hit a major chord. Here's a snippet:
We'll hear arguments from all across the spectrum on any number of topics; guns, child abuse, peer pressure, stress, academic standards, teaching standards, and our own cannibalistic culture that has evolved away from the eating of human flesh in favor of devouring the needs and emotions of our peers.

...But we'll also forget.

We'll forget there are dreams that have been blown out like candles, private funerals, teary-eyed parents, and televised memorials serving as that final whisp of smoke and scent of ozone that lingers before the flame is forgotten completely, and we learn to move on again.

Or maybe not. I don't know. Over the next few days and maybe weeks we'll have scores of pundits and professionals and experts peddling the lessons of this tragedy over the airwaves, on television sets, and splashed across computer monitors. And some will be right, some will be wrong, and most won't even know which they are, and really it's all a very important part of the process.

But from me, I really only have a few simple things, and you can take them or leave them, it's up to you. Cherish your children, take this opportunity to hug them, and to love them, and to share your dreams about them with them, and likewise share the dreams they have for themselves. But don't take this opportunity to shy from the world. We are flawed. We may never be able to prevent something like this from happening again, or if we do, the cost may be too high. No matter how hard we work to make the world better for our children, it will always be dangerous. And we have to know this, understand this, and send our children out there anyway for only then will they have the chance to become as great as we all hope and dream they can be.

And the parents of the fallen. I think it's important to not forget them. I think it's important to know that today twenty-nine dreams died, builders of bridges and buildings and civilizations, translators of the languages of the earth and cosmos, healers of wounds, and leaders of the free world. We should remember what they have lost as we too have the same very thing to lose.

For those parents for whom the worst of tragedies have occured, we, as part of this great national family, should offer our tears and hopes and most importantly dreams. We should offer to them our dreams and promises to the future because they have just lost theirs.
I'm a sentimental old Scot when the need arises and I am not ashamed to tell you I came to write this update with tears still in my eyes and a lump still in my throat at this eloquent eulogy for detroyed lives and destroyed dreams. Go read and if it doesn't get you right there then you can probably stop calling yourself a human being.

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