A Prayer for the Colonels
It's the 'I get by with a little help from my friends' edition of 'The Rundown.'
Good Wednesday, Rockville.
From Sunday's sad news out of the Magruder High School community it's quickly turned into one of those "just get me through this" kind of weeks.
A personal shout-out to the Magruder High community: I'm a Sherwood alumnus, but my Magruder connections run deep, from parents who taught in the Magruder cluster for years to a brother-in-law who graduated from Magruder.
I should probably say here, as painful as it may be, that those deep connections also include having spoken at the memorial service of a former Magruder valedictorian. She was like a little sister to me. She was a beautiful girl. She crammed a lot into 21 years but had so much more that she was going to do.
Nine years later, I still can't do her justice in words.
It would be presumptuous of me to say that I know what friends and family of the five people involved in Sunday's crash are going through. But I can remember what it's like to watch hundreds of people file into a church on Muncaster Mill Road—as friends of Haeley McGuire did today—to reflect and remember someone gone far too soon. And I can offer my thoughts and prayers for all those who are hurting.
It's been emotionally exhausting covering the aftermath of Sunday's crash, but trolling Twitter and Facebook for today's story gave me a sense of a community coming together in the most difficult of circumstances.
One tweet quoted in today's story calls for "a big group hug." While most days such a suggestion would seem laughable, this week, for a few days at least, it seems like that's exactly what's happening. And maybe that's exactly what we all need.
(In fact, Chris Slattery, a former colleague at The Gazette, suggests a hug and a prayer in an excellent post from her blog "No Pearls" that we are featuring on our home page.)
There are sure to be tough days ahead. But here's hoping that a community bound together by tragedy sticks together through difficulty.
So, here's to you, Colonels. Take care of each other. And in the words of a friend who recently lost his mother, here's the "here's to better days" edition of "The Rundown":
- The first of three funeral services for the victims of Sunday's crash was held today. Services and visitations will also be held tomorrow, Friday and Saturday. Click here for more details.
- Sunday's crash is a tragic reminder that this is a season of freedom and of fun, but also of danger.
"Prom and graduation are here and risky behavior is about to begin," Ronda T. Laughlin, the fundraiser chairwoman for Magruder's "Every 15 Minutes" program wrote in an email this week. "These teens are wired with no [sense] of fear and live moment to moment. We try so hard to bring programs in to our schools like 'Every 15 Minutes' to assist with making [good] sound decisions but as things do happen that can be out of our control."
"Every 15 Minutes," which is presented at high schools around the county, including Rockville High, aims to educate kids about the dangers of driving while impaired, while texting or even while tired.
"This program needs to be brought to more area high schools through the State Highway Administration," Laughlin wrote. "Awareness is the key to success."
Laughlin provided a link to a video that is part of the awareness campaign. A warning: It's graphic. But that's part of making the point.
- The Rockville Planning Commission meets tonight. On the agenda is the commission's annual report and a work session on the draft plan for Rockville Pike. Tonight's work session focuses on "development principles of the plan."
- There's comedy for a cause tonight at Outta the Way Cafe as the Kiwanis Club of Mid-Montgomery County raises money for Community Support for Austistic Adults and Children.
- Though we doubt that Rockville City Councilman Piotr Gajewski would want to be compared to this guy, Gajewski could be on his way to becoming "King of All (Multi-)Media." Rosehill (VA) Patch spotted Gajewski at George Mason University in Fairfax as Sharon Bulova announced her bid for re-election as chairwoman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. In the photo, "The lady to my right is my daughter Michelle, who is the campaign manager for Sharon Bulova’s re-election," Gajewski told us.
- Follow us on Twitter @RockvillePatch. "Like" Rockville Patch on Facebook.