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April 2, 2010 - Joe Gorman
I've written in this space before that I'm paid to be objective, not a robot. Thursday, I wished the opposite to be true.
Thursday was the day I had to interview the families of the three Marine recruits who were killed in a horrific accident on state Route 5 that involved a semi, a motorcycle and five other vehicles on Wednesday. They were on their way to sign final enlistment papers in Cleveland and were in the backseat of a car driven by a recruiter when they were killed.
I have been doing this since 1992 and it was by far the biggest, messiest and grossest wreck I have ever seen. When the rescue workers are holding up a sheet, you know it's bad and you feel a tinge inside. When there's more than one sheet...there's really no words for it.
It is not one of my favorite things to do -- in fact, it is one of the worst -- but Thursday I set out to interview family members. I always feel like an intruder but people want to know about them, because they want to reach out and comfort them.
At two of the homes, I was allowed to ask questions. At a third one, I was shooed away, which is understandable. I have done stories on homicides before and sometimes they talk and sometimes they tell me to leave, and not always in a nice manner.
I understand. As I have also written before, I have buried my own child, so I know what it's like. I couldn't help be reminded of that Thursday as I spoke to the Theodores and Sherbournes about the loss of their sons.
It was hard to keep from crying myself at times, yet at those two homes they said they were proud of their sons and wanted people to know about them. Usually, when doing stories like this, that is why the people want to talk.
This morning I saw a lot of comments on our web site with the story about how the media should leave these people alone. I understand them. Believe me, no one I know who does this wants to do what we did yesterday, Yet, people do want to know. So there is a demand. And for those who wrote those comments, they read the story as well, so obviously they wanted to know also.
It was a tough one yesterday, Just visiting one family who loses a loved one is bad enough, but three? Well, that's when I wish I had a mechanical heart.
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