We Think: What we Learn from Tragedy

We Think: What we Learn from Tragedy

August 31, 2016.

Yesterday morning started like so many other warm, sunny days for a mother in Lansdowne when she went for a walk with her five-month old son in his stroller.

What happened next at the intersection of Riverside Parkway and Coton Manor Drive is still under investigation, but we know they were struck in the crosswalk by a male driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The boy was killed and the mother was seriously injured.

It is a tragedy that is resonating across Loudoun and beyond. Last night neighbors and others gathered for a vigil and struggled to find words of comfort.  Dozens left flowers and notes on a large orange poster at the scene.

We visited the site again this morning, and the horror leaves one speechless.

Tragic events happen every moment of every day.  Nothing unnerves us more than when it happens close to home, in a community we know, on a road we drive, in a setting that could just as easily be ours. The loss of a budding young life is especially heartbreaking.

We can’t make sense of the senseless, but we can take some solace from the immediate outpouring of community empathy.

In a time when Americans are buffeted by disturbing news at home and abroad, and when the national media is fixated on the precise meaning of every utterance by our presidential candidates, it is a comfort to know that we’re not so jaded as to accept every tragedy as just another news day.

All lives matter, and shattered ones need our empathy and support most of all.


Tom Julia
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