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Our View: Sorrow affects us all in time of tragedy
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"I love you."

These three simple words mean so much when people say them, and mean equally as much when people hear them.

Members of the greater Monroe community are grieving over the tragic deaths of three teenagers, Gage Noble, 16; Anya T. L. Teasdale, 16; and Joseph T. Wyss, 15; who were all killed due to injuries sustained in a vehicle accident Friday afternoon.

People who have been touched by the lives of these young people are horrified and heartbroken, overcome with immense sadness and grief.

Our thoughts also are with Jennifer L. Hopkins, 35, of Monroe who was in a second vehicle in the crash and suffered serious injuries.

While the authorities will sort out the official details, there are questions beyond that. There aren't quick answers when a community loses three young and tender people.

No material possessions come with us when we're born. No material possessions leave with us when we depart. All that's left is the impression we've had on other people.

The impression left by these three, as individuals and together forever due to circumstance, obviously was incredibly positive and meaningful in this place.

It's important for us to point out what an enormous tragedy this is for our community. An entire generation will always be touched by these untimely deaths. Three bright stars suddenly dimmed. Three promising futures erased. Friends lost. Families forever altered.

Our sorrow is deep. This was evident at the candlelight vigil on Monroe's Square on Saturday night, when hundreds gathered to show solidarity with the victims' families and friends, to lend comfort to one another and to try to begin to understand this devastating loss.

As we reflect on these young souls who have departed, let's remember to love our neighbor.

Let's especially remember to tell our loved ones those three precious words: "I love you."

All we're guaranteed in this world is each other. For how long we have each other, no one knows. Saying, "I love you," means something. It's tangible. It's caring. It's positive. It's right.

How many times would we like to be able to tell those who have gone unexpectedly that we love them? More times than there are stars in the sky, more times than we can possibly imagine.

Let's honor them by caring better for each other.

There are so many who need our support right now, particularly the families of Gage Noble, Anya Teasdale and Joe Wyss who have suffered an unimaginable loss. Likewise, the victims' friends, as well as the entire Monroe High School community of students and staff, need our support as they navigate this difficult time.

And let's continue to keep Jennifer Hopkins in our thoughts as she fights and struggles with the injuries she sustained in the accident: She and her family also need the support of this community.