Condolences for Loss of Geographic Team on Flight  77

National Geographic News
Updated October 24, 2001

The following e-mail letters were received from readers worldwide. The National Geographic Society thanks everyone who sent the messages of support and sympathy. They will be forwarded to families and colleagues of those who died.

Read our news report on the death of the National Geographic team: Go>>

Read the earlier e-mailed messages of condolence sent by readers: Go>>

If you would like to add a message of condolence, send it to the news desk: Go>>

Latest Messages Received Through Wednesday, October 24:

The loss of three of D.C.'s most promising young students, Asia Cottom, Bernard Brown and Rodney Dickens, and their teachers, Hilda Taylor, Sarah Clark and James Debeuneure, is unbearably sad. My heart goes out to their families, colleagues and schoolmates of the group. I also offer my sincere condolences to the colleagues and families of Ann Judge and Joe Ferguson. Their work has undoubtedly left deep a profound impression on people throughout the world. This dreadful tragedy—and recent events in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan—remind us that the adventure of learning can, at times, be dangerous. But it is an adventure that is worth the risk. God bless the National Geographic Society, its writers, its photographers and its educational staff for continuing to inform and inspire.—Melissa Sweeney, Santa Monica, California

There is little more I can do, other than wipe away the tears and add my condolences. I am so proud of all of them, and so proud of the children especially. What wonderful lives and examples, you will never be forgotten. Thank you, God bless you.—Anne Kelly, school counselor, Nacogdoches, Texas

The Irish writer Brendan Behan once said:"America you are my new found land, anyone who hates you hates life itself." The 11th of September 2001 is a day I will never forget. May God bless the victims, their families and their friends. I am so sorry.—Noel Sheehan, County Kildare, Ireland

To the families of Joe and Ann, I had the wonderful experience to have been with your loved ones in Alaska this summer. Not only did they provide leadership during the project, but they also shared friendship and good times with us. We all share in your loss. Sincerely—Mary Lee Karl, El Paso, Texas

There are times, when one is lucky enough to meet an individual who will forever impact your life. I was one of those lucky individuals in the summer of 1994. I was 16 years old and preparing for an adventure that would forever change my life. It would be my first time away from home, the first time I had ever flown, and my first time in a new country. I was not sure what to think, but Ann was there at the airport in Barcelona, waiting with a comforting yet excited smile. During the next three weeks of Project Marco Polo 1994, I was able to learn from Ann, laugh with Ann, and acquire new life goals from the experiences we shared together. It will be a month tomorrow since the loss of Ann, but not a day has gone by where I have not thought of Ann, grieved for Ann, and prayed for her and her loved ones. The thought of Ann brings a smile to my face, but the loss of Ann brings sadness to my heart. Thank you, Ann, for making me one of those lucky individuals. I along with many others will miss you. My condolences to Ann's family and friends.—Dustin Schauer, Lincoln, Nebraska, PMP 1994

To the parents of Bernard Brown, Asia Cottom, and Rodney Dickens: Here it is over a month since this tragedy, and I still have tears fill in my eyes when I see these three names. I feel as if these are my little angels. The pain strikes me as if they are actually my children. Please except my deepest condolences. Please inform me of any funds in the memory of these angels. You are in my heart and prayers forever.—Gina Thompson, Santa Monica, Ca.

Continued on Next Page >>


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