Taken a few minutes ago from the on-line edition of the Oregonian, their editorial for Christmas Day.
A day to hold people close
Monday, December 25, 2006
Christmas is always a search -- for meaning, for family, for gifts, even for just the right thing to say to the people you care about most.
But on this Christmas Day, after weeks of watching the brave, tear-stained faces of the families and friends of James and Kati Kim and mountain climbers Kelly James, Brian Hall and Jerry Cooke, the search feels more urgent than ever.
Maybe you don't know where to look, where to start -- or even, exactly what you're searching for this Christmas. But you can find it. Start with the families and close friends of the missing that Oregon looked so long, and so hard, to find nearly all month long.
Look at all that the family and friends of the Kims did to help rescue James and Kati and those two little girls. They raised money, rented helicopters and launched Web sites, they prayed and hugged and gave strength to each other.
Look, too, at the deep love and enormous faith that Karen James showed for her husband, Kelly, standing in a driving, cold rain on Mount Hood, thanking searchers and telling reporters, "My husband proposed to me on Mount Rainier, and we're planning our 50th wedding anniversary there. . . . I know he's coming off this mountain."
These families and friends never gave up. You must keep searching, too. Look back, and you will find clues in the determined, exhausted faces of the dozens of search and rescue volunteers who tried to find and save the Kims and the climbers. You could hear it in the breaking voice of Josephine County Undersheriff Brian Anderson, who announced the discovery of James Kim's body.
It doesn't come in a pretty package. You can't fit it under a tree. It never goes on sale at the stores. But it's there in the compassion, the strength and the commitment that people showed for one another in an awful month when so many people came up missing in Oregon. It's also there with the many Oregon families who are missing loved ones serving in Afghanistan and Iraq this Christmas Day.
It's love. It's family. It's hope. It's what people are doing today, coming together in their homes, gathering around Christmas trees, crackling fires and overloaded dining room tables.
So pull your loved ones extra close on this Christmas Day. This is a day for fierce hugs, for saying the things that never quite get said. You've seen just how easy it is to lose someone. One wrong turn in the darkness. One misstep in the mountains.
It's been a sad and frightening time in Oregon. But we've also seen the powerful love of family and friends.
Don't ever stop searching.
But on this day, celebrate all that you've found.