Coming together in the face of tragedy
A morning like any other erupted into chaos on Thursday morning, as news broke that a van had driven into a Grade 6 classroom at Racette School, injuring several students.
It was a situation that would have been shocking anywhere, but even more so in this small and tightly-knit community, where everyone could at least think of one friend or family member that was in the school who might have been affected. Immediately, people were full of thoughts and prayers for students and staff of the school, particularly those injured.
Sadly, one of three students with critical injuries passed away last Friday. Looking at the pictures of the sweet-faced Megan Wolitski, a girl with passions and dreams cut short by this tragedy, is heartbreaking.
It’s an utterly incomprehensible loss of life for someone so young, a loss that must be devastating for her family, friends and the school community as a whole.
It will likely be impossible for any one of us to forget, every time we see the school, that long after the reporters who came here have left and the cameras have stopped rolling, people’s lives will still be horribly impacted by this event.
In the midst of this horrific tragedy, there were moments of bravery, of kindness, and of overwhelming love and support. First and foremost was the response of those first on the scene – the school staff and the emergency responders. St. Paul Education Regional Division staff reportedly did a commendable job of controlling an unimaginable situation, calming students, finding out where they were, and evacuating them from the scene. Emergency crews responding had an extraordinary task as well – there were those among them that knew a child or several children in the room, yet they had to tamp down on any fear, panic or personal sadness, and deal with the situation at hand. They did so admirably. These people are all heroes, in caring for our children and dealing with a terrible situation instead of letting it spiral out of control.
The work of all those involved in putting together a prayer vigil on Friday night, going out and monitoring the site and relighting candles, was also a sign of how much people wanted to help those impacted by this terrible event. As all those gathered came and prayed, there was a depth of feeling, of hurt, that will take a long time to heal. But the gathering was another sign that the community will provide whatever support it can to those who need it, so that hopefully, those affected worst by this tragic accident know they are not alone and that a community’s prayers are with them.
In order to post comments on our web site, you must validate your email address. An email was sent to you when you registered that included an activation link. If you have not yet done so, please click on the link to activate your account.
If you did not receive your activation email, please click here to have it resent.