SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Must We Squabble Over Everything?
By Marie L Monyak


February 09, 2006

There is a family in town that lost their home and everything within, the day of the jet crash in Ketchikan. There are those whose trailer was only damaged and owners of two vehicles that were totaled. A man lost his life.

There should not be a contest or arguments to decide who gets attention and who doesn't or whose tragedy is worse or more mentionable.

I applaud Jennifer Brewer for letting the readers know about the Credit Union One fund that was set up for the Mestas family as well as the City and Borough Mayors for issuing proclamations for Butch Freeman.

I covered the jet crash story as a freelance writer and after spending hours in the cold blowing snow and rain I sat at my computer and did my research. I thought long and hard about what to write.

I thought about the Mestas family that lost their home. I knew that in true Ketchikan fashion, the friends and family of the Mestas would come to their aid and the community would help. The Ketchikan High School students already have donation canisters in the stores. Perhaps there could be a spaghetti feed at one of the clubs and a fund raiser of sorts. We always help our own. I felt certain that friends of the Mestas would carry the torch and see to it that the family got the help they so badly need. Or so I thought.

And then I considered the man that lost his life, a man no one in Ketchikan knew, that spent the last few moments of his life right here. I knew that because Ketchikan didn't know him, he would be but a fleeting memory. As the pilot, his name would be reported and soon forgotten.

As a result I made little mention of the Mestas family but I took the time to tell Ketchikan who Butch Freeman was so he could be remembered. As Vicki O Brien said, He died. His family lost a father, husband, son and brother, never to be seen again. Those who survived this tragedy and only lost material possessions still have their lives and each other.

A home, a car, belongings can all be replaced. A life cannot. We have paid our tribute to Butch Freeman and honored him, rightfully so. Now it's time for the community to do what it does best and that's taking care of our own.

Instead of complaining that one tragedy got more attention than another, how about if we just move forward and do what is necessary to help our neighbor? Andrew Hamilton said we aren't putting enough effort into taking care of our own citizens. Then let's do what needs done and stop talking about it.

I have been told that Mr. Mestas was a member of the Harley Riders Association which happens to be an extremely benevolent organization in our town. So, Harley Riders, Jennifer Brewer, Andrew Hamilton, let's get the ball rolling. Is there a planned fundraiser in the works? What is being done other than the account at Credit Union One and the donation cans placed around town by Ketchikan High School students?

Let's stop squabbling and do something. I for one, am done talking, I'm ready to volunteer, how about you, Ketchikan?

Marie L Monyak

Ketchikan, AK - USA



Related Viewpoints:

letter Response is right and just By Vicki O'Brien - Ketchikan, AK - USA

letter Re: Mentality of This Town By Lynne Miller - Ketchikan, AK - USA

letter Mentality of this town By Andrew Hamilton - Ketchikan, AK - USA



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


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Ketchikan, Alaska