I was shocked this morning when I read the headline on FoxNews, regarding your community’s tragic loss of so many young men, sons, brothers, nephews and friends. The loss struck me slightly differently from other out of town readers, because I spent 10 days in your community 15 years ago, and your little town impacted me greatly.
I had a wonderful opportunity to hunt geese and ducks all around your community in 2003, to interact with families and business owners, and it is a hunt I will never forget. Not only was I hugely successful in my hunt, but I met so many wonderful, hearty and pleasant people in every nook of the community. The charm of the people and beauty and demeanor of the town structures reminded me of time I spent in Germany, France and Italy, while in the military. Because of my hunting success there, I went back to my home singing the praises of Humbolt, Saskatchewan, and you can thank me or blame me, but I have referred many friends there who had similar experiences.
I know that this tragedy will bring your town to its knees, but I want you to know that it wasn’t the asthetic beauty of the town and region alone that I remember, but the character of all those of your citizenry, who greeted strangers, welcomed us from outside and gave us a glimpse into your lives and families that I will never forget.
I have threatened to take my wife there, because she says she wants to see this little town in Canada, where the people were so pleasant and welcoming.
So I want you to know that my heart is heavy for you wonderful people, and I will mourn with you all. I also want to assure you that God was not surprised by this event and will only use it to bring some closer to Him, though some will also question, I pray they will find answers.
With a sorrow filled and aching heart for an enormous loss.