Saturday, October 06, 2007

Sorrow for the dead...

October 4, 1996 was a beautiful fall Friday, much like yesterday. At the high school, concern grew as administrators, coaches and teammates were unable to contact two cheerleaders who had not arrived on time for school. It sounds trivial in retrospect, but if you don't go to school, you're not eligible to cheer at that night's game. The Dryden community waited in horror as police investigation over the next few days revealed the the grisly attack and murder of these two beautiful girls.

At that time, my daughter was a cheerleader and my son was captain of the football team. Those days had a profound effect on our lives as they did on the entire community. Maggy's in New York now. So she asked me to honor the memory of her friends this year.

It's impossible to describe how vivid the memory of those days is.

I walked up the hill a bit to my parents graves and recalled this essay by Washington Irving.
"The sorrow for the dead is the only sorrow from which we refuse to be divorced. Every other wound we seek to heal- every other affliction to forget; but this wound we consider it a duty to keep open- this affliction we cherish and brood over in solitude...

...Ay, go to the grave of buried love, and meditate! Then weave thy chaplet of flowers, and strew the beauties of nature about the grave; console thy broken spirit, if thou canst, with these tender, yet futile tributes of regret; but
take warning by the bitterness of this thy contrite affliction over the dead, and henceforth be more faithful and affectionate in the discharge of thy duties
to the living."


HP said...

It's hard to believe that it was over 10 years ago. I remember it, as I was a student at that school who graduated a few years before. I also graduated with the daughters of the Starr family. It leaves an eerie and sad feeling when I drive through the streets of Dryden. My last 3 years of highscool were filled with tragedies.


Anonymous said...

i cheered with jen, sarah, and katie. no matter how much time goes by, you will never forget their beautiful faces or their early departure from us. I love you guys!

-dryden cheerleader

Walden Mommy said...

I know this is old but thank you for this post. I was in the third grade with Jennifer. I moved that year, as my father joined the Ai Force. For years we owned a house in Freeville, although we never returned to live there. The news of Jennifer and Sarah's death reached me when we lived in Honolulu, HI. I remembered Jennifer and the news led to some dark, devistating days in my life. Every fall, I remember them and pray for them.
I have not been to Dryden in many, many years but it is my "orginal hometown."