Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A tragedy this weekend

This is not a book or library related post, but one I felt I needed to share.

This past weekend, in my neighborhood in suburban Georgia, three teenage boys fell through the ice in our neighborhood pond (see news story here and here). One of the boys got out, the other two boys were under water for over 40 minutes before the fire department could rescue them and they died later at the hospital. These were friends and football teammates of my son, they were in the eighth grade.

One of the things I have noticed in the past few days that DOES relate to this blog, is the way social media, games and texting have helped these kids go through this tragedy. On Saturday night, when the media wanted some pictures of the kids, about 7 football players got on the boys MySpaces and found pictures to print to give to the media. It was a great way for the kids (and the parents that were there too) to talk about the boys and remember them. That night, the kids were all texting each other and we found out about a church service that was being held on Sunday morning for the boys. About 50 kids (mostly football teammates) showed up to grieve and pray together. Later that day, the boys texted and Facebooked and MySpaced about meeting up at the pond for a memorial to the boys – within 2 hours, well over a hundred people turned up, not only kids, but neighbors, teachers from the middle school and classmates. Late Sunday night, I heard my son playing his Xbox 360 live – I could hear him talking with some of his teammates/classmates on this game and they were remembering the boys and talking about them - a way for my son and his friends to grieve and heal that I never would have imagined. I have also been told that some kids have set up a memorial Facebook page for those that knew the boys to write messages and remembrances on. I am sure that not only will this help the boys friends grieve, but also their families as well.

This has been hard for everyone in our community and something that those of us that live in the neighborhood feel like it could have happened to any one of our kids. They were all curious about a frozen pond, this doesn’t happen in Georgia (I have NEVER seen this pond frozen in the four years we have lived there) and many of the kids (mine included) had tried to test out the ice on Friday (a snow day from school).

Please keep the families of these boys in your thoughts and prayers in the next few weeks.

Now back to our regular programming…


Jim said...

I'm sorry for the loss in your community, but thank you so much for sharing this unique perspective.

Ms. Yingling said...

Very sorry to hear about this. It sounds like there is a lot of support in your community to help everyone through this. Will keep you in our thoughts.