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Big Chuck

February 1, 2010

I Was Just Thinking: Near or far, tragedy is tough to take

It has been a rough couple of weeks since we last communicated.

We said goodbye to two young people who really made a difference.

Marine Cpl. Nick Uzenski, 26, died in combat in Bar Now Zad, Afghanistan, on Jan. 10. He died in a place about as far away from his home in Franklin as you can get on a map.

New York state trooper Jill Mattice, 31, died Jan. 20 on Patrick Hill outside of Morris in a car crash. She became the first female New York state trooper to die in the line of duty.

Both were young, respected, devoted individuals who had followed their call to action. Nick died in service to his country. Jill died in service to her state.

Both touched the lives of any and all who knew them. They were both adored by kids. Nick died thousands of miles from home. Jill died five minutes from home. Both died with their uniforms on. Both will be missed.

And then there is Haiti.

Natural disasters are always bad, and thank God we don't see them around here on the Biblical proportions that we see around the world.

We've experienced horrible seasonal floods and blizzards that have shut down life as we know it for days. Yes, natural disasters are always bad, for sure.

But, the earthquake in Haiti.

There is something about it that has shaken my very soul. I am trying to pinpoint what it is about this tragedy, now the greatest natural disaster in recorded history, that has affected me so strongly.

The Great Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 took 200,000 lives spread out over a dozen countries many time zones away from America. We saw the news of the aftermath, we responded to the pleas from charities for help, we grieved for those impacted. And we moved on.

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Big Chuck

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