This editorial first appeared in the Anchorage Daily News:
No Alaskan can hear about this week's Boy Scout tragedy without feeling the pain shared by all who know the victims. What was a routine camp activity - setting up a pavilion-style tent at a national jamboree in Virginia - turned deadly when a tent pole hit an overhead power line. In just moments, four adult Scout leaders died and another was seriously burned as others looked on, unable to save them.
One minute, Ron Bitzer, Michael Lacroix, Michael Shibe, Scott Powell and Larry Call were doing what they loved, giving their time and talents to help the youths of Alaska and the nation. The next minute, with no warning of danger, four of them were dead, and Mr. Call barely escaped with serious burns. Cruel is the fate that so quickly and unexpectedly snatches life from such generous and dedicated men.
Mr. Call is reportedly out of danger, and Alaskans wish him a speedy and complete recovery. Alaskans also remember the contributions and service of Ron Bitzer, Michael Lacroix, Michael Shibe and Scott Powell - and offer condolences to their families and friends.