One County, One Day, Two Tragedies

Monday, October 24, 2011.

In Snohomish, WA, a fifteen year old student stabbed two other students, ages fifteen and fourteen, in the bathroom of their high school.  Though one of the victims was stabbed more than twenty times and suffered puncture wounds to her heart and lungs, but was treated and released from the hospital today.  The other victim, who tried to defend the first victim, received less serious injuries and was released earlier this week.

In Marysville, three members of the Marysville-Getchell High School boys’ cross country team were in a car accident.  One–their lead runner–was killed; two were injured.  Aside from being tragic, this story is strange to me because my team runs at an invitational hosted by their school, and for all I know, our boys’ team has probably competed against those affected.

But even in the depths of tragedy, there are glimmers of goodness, hope, and strength.

Local schools (including archrival Glacier Peak High School) showed their support for the victims of the SHS stabbing victim by wearing Snohomish’s school colors–even to their own homecoming games–and sending notes, cards, posters, and photos of encouragement.  A simple gesture, but profound.

GPHS supports SHS

The teammates of the young man who died in the crash faced the choice of whether or not to compete in their state-qualifying District Championship meet today.  They decided to run–in his honor, as a team.  Rather than racing, however, they ran behind the pack, together.  At the end of the race, they donned shirts with the words, “Win it for Juan” and “Drive Safely”.  Though they lost their chance for a state berth, they gained the respect of all the other schools in attendance and the knowledge that they honored their friends.

MGHS cross country team runs in honor of teammate

In the face of tragedy, there is resilience, honor, strength, beauty, love, kindness, humanity, dignity.  My coach always tells us that “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”  I think this applies to more than just cross country.

(photo credits to my friends from the Snohomish School District–Facebook is a wonderful thing)

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