Letter from the Editor –Reflecting on a tragedy

Hollywood, MD - One never knows how a workday might evolve in the news business. Dealing with the routine can sometimes be as challenging as handling the out-of-the-ordinary. On Monday, April 17 a routine writers’ meeting morphed into something major when word was received of what was first reported as a plane crash, which then became a helicopter crash in the Breton Bay area. The details and initial speculations—was it military, law enforcement?—did it crash into the bay or on land?—soon became clearer. Still the story was in a fluid state for quite a long time. By now you know the rest, the events of Monday are still fresh in many people’s minds and the final word on the incident has not yet been written.

There are three main things I want to state in this essay.

First, our hearts truly go out to the Armed Forces—especially the Army. We mourn the loss of the crew member who died at the scene and pray for the recovery of the two injured flyers. To be commended are the responders—fire, rescue, emergency medical services, police and military—and the Samaritans—the golfers, course employees, residents and passersby who rushed to the scene fearlessly to offer aid. The eyewitnesses, many of whom contacted personally, spoke with our field reporter, or perhaps spoke with other media people who arrived later and shared what they saw, no doubt have given the crash investigators revealing information that will make the probe easier to close. They’ve also given readers around the world a sense of how an unexpected event can impact the daily lives of real people. We all live under the same sky and this tragedy could have happened anywhere.

Secondly, I personally and publicly offer a huge shout-out to my coworkers—in the field and in the office—for doing a superb job of telling this story to our readers. Their work was first-rate. As always, we as a team appreciate the information provided by many reliable sources.

Finally—to the people who continually express dismay at the presentation of stories like this—while I respect your right to hold and express an opinion, I can only reiterate that this is what the real world looks like. Images of tragedy are troubling to look at and when a story is as fluid as this one was, sketchy details need to be revised and clarified. is not a glossy monthly magazine that you read at the beauty salon, it’s a real-time news service. Things aren’t always perfect—reality can be so ugly—but if this past Monday is any indication, the effort is always there.

The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the management of

Contact Marty Madden at

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