A tribute to the trio who died Dec. 11 in Keedysville

December 26, 2005

(Editor's note: This tribute was submitted by Joan Walla of Boonsboro. It concerns the recent fire-related deaths of three local youths.)

To the editor:

Sometimes we do not give our children credit for being great human beings. People always want to think the worse about teenagers.

This is a post circling among the Boonsboro High School students that my daughter left up on her screen. I am not certain who originated it ... and if character is based on the mark you leave behind or the friends one keeps ... these young men are being represented in volumes.

As the towns of Boonsboro, Keedysville and Sharpsburg are struggling with this tragedy these young people are representing our future with compassion ... I am so proud of every single one of them.


Re: Love, comfort and peace to Boonsboro High

I can not help but copy something from my daughter that she has left on her screen ... pray for our children, for they grieve more deeply them we give them credit for ... and bond together even deeper.

"I lost the happiness in my heart. Jon you were the sunshine that I looked forward to everyday. I miss all the times spent with you I love you with every piece of me.

"Mike and Brian I will never forget the few times spent with you!

"BHS Students, Please read.

"As teenagers, we often find ourselves treating life as if we were invincible.

"If this past weekend has shown us anything, its that we are not immortal; we are all human, we live to die and cannot escape the inevitable. Death is not the enemy - it is just as much a part of life as birth.

"At times, when the life of someone close to us is stolen in such a tragic manner, as were the lives of Boonsboro's own Jon Barnes, Mike Abell and Brian Daigle, we find ourselves questioning almost everything we hold sacred. Why would a God who is supposedly so loving, so compassionate ... why would He strike down a youth in the prime of their life?

"According to police reports, all three of the boys were likely unconscious before the flames ever touched their bodies. Their last moments with us were peaceful - they drifted off eternally without a struggle. It is selfish for us to ask that they come back and risk leaving any other way.

"If I remember anything about the three of them, it was their genuinely accepting personalities. They - including the more fortunate Max Hope - didn't judge a person based on their clique, they didn't care about your reputation. If you were good to them, they would be good to you. And it pains me to know that there are three less kind-hearted, tolerant people in the world.

"In the hearts and minds of those who loved them, Jon, Mike and Brian can and will live forever; we just have to make the conscious decision to make them live. They touched the lives of everyone in such a positive manner ... would they want to see any of you mourning?

"Remember the good times. Push the thought that they are not physically with us out of your mind. Remember that every time you think back on them and smile, they are there. They will always be there.

"As teenagers, we often find ourselves treating life as if we were invincible. Now we know that every single time we argue with our best friends over the most nonsensical thing, slap our boyfriends, tell our parents we hate them, make our girlfriends cry with no remorse ... every time you hurt another person, that could be the memory of you they carry with them forever.

"Tolerate each other. Appreciate each other. You never know when you could lose someone, and might not discover how much they meant to you until its too late.

"And love, ALWAYS.

"All those who are suffering through the loss of these three boys, know that I am here for you whenever you need me, and I love you all dearly."

(Editor's note: The three boys mentioned in this article died in a fire in Keedysville on Sunday, Dec. 11.)

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