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Madness and chaos

January 16, 2008 - LLee Janssen

So isn't it odd how the world works? A bit over a week ago, I awoke to a Saturday morning with my older son on my mind. Three days earlier, I used a vacation day to drive him to the airport in Baltimore to start a trip that ultimately would take him to southwest Asia.

How handsome Christopher looked in his uniform, I recall. I couldn't be anything but proud of him, admirable of him, and yet sad that he would be gone from arm's reach for the foreseeable future while on deployment with the Air National Guard. And now, on that Saturday, I awoke knowing that that was the day he was to arrive to his assignment to a relatively safe country and U.S. ally in the Middle East. But still, a country with a markedly different culture than ours, and in the Middle East.

But it wasn't there that the bullets were flying. It was here. In my beloved Williamsport.

It doesn't make sense, this madness and chaos that visited our community that dark and cold Friday night. The headlines of that Saturday morning were the makings of a piece of Steven King horror, not the kind of thing you'd expect in a town that gave birth to the most wholesome of activities and the greatest youth sport in the world, Little League Baseball.

We can all look back and ask, "How could this come to be?" And we can hold fast in our lives and refuse to give in to fear. Or we could run and hide -- and live our lives that way, always trying to get away, always looking for the next safe place.

And people in neighboring communities can decide Williamsport is too dangerous a place to be, instead of being part of the solution and thereby fending off the element that will be in their towns next.

I have no answers, only observations and a commitment to being here when Christopher returns from his mission. Yes, but what wouldn't any of us give for peace on Earth, in far away places as well as places that are near and dear?

So, for anyone who takes the time to read this, my observation for you and each and every person on the planet: Peace on Earth begins wherever you are; it lives in the hearts and minds of all of us. Please don't give up on Williamsport; to do so would be to give up on generations that came before us and generations that are to follow.

Godspeed, Christopher! Travel safely and come home soon!



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