News Obits School/Sports Community Opinion

— I wasn’t here to experience Gravette’s reaction to the loss of high school junior Casey Russell.

But upon returning home from vacation I felt, I feel the depth of that loss, the depth of feelings, the depth of respect. And love, and compassion, and support that played out at Gravette High School, in the community and from the surrounding area and schools, which were graphically described in the Daily Record stories and photos which were reprinted in The News Herald.

Those who wrote the stories and who took the photos did great justice to a fine young man whose life was cut short by one of the unexplainables.

If you did not know Casey, that tall, athletic Gravette Lion football player, those stories and photos made him at once recognizable as a model for other youth. One whose life bristled with the expectancy of a fulfilling adulthood. Whose manners and demeanor reflected those basic values that speak volumes.

You who were here during those days of disbelief and coping with such an unexpected loss were here. Yes. You were here. For the family. For each other. For Casey’s memory. You did just that. You remembered.

You still remember the flickering candles on Lion Field, the signs that were painted on car windows; that number “56” etched in your mind. You will not forget. It is that remembering with respect and support and compassion and love that holds us together as a community. As a family.

Casey’s star still glows brightly. And it is surrounded by the hundreds of stars that twinkle around it. Stars that you and your actions placed there. And there they will ever remain.

Opinion, Pages 4 on 10/07/2009

Print Headline: Off The Cuff

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