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Reader Asks: Have We Become Desensitized to Death?

Reader asks why people seemed more upset over their impeded Wednesday commute than reports of human remains found on the railroad tracks. Are we that unfazed by death? Is getting home from work more important than life itself?

Editor's Note: This letter was authored before authorities announced that the remains were not human.

Dear Jamie:

As I rode home Wednesday evening and was about to turn left onto Manassas Drive from Centreville Road, I spotted a helicopter hovering over the area just ahead and thought to myself, “That seems odd; I wonder what they are looking for?” As I made my turn onto Manassas Drive, I had to pull over for a police car trying to get past us and continued to drive towards the Euclid Avenue intersection only to see the police tape and police cars blocking further passage down Manassas Drive.

It was a terrifying fear not see any police officer redirecting traffic or informing us how far down Manassas Drive was closed. All cars had to blindly turn right onto Euclid Avenue to head toward Liberia Avenue in hopes that getting back onto Manassas Drive from Signal View Drive would get us to our homes and families.

Once I finally made it home (an hour and a half later after only being two minutes from home), and being grateful that not only I was able to make it home, but my family was safe and sound, I waited until the 10 p.m. news to find any additional information about the tragic situation. I must say that I am grateful for our who was on the scene and informing us through her Facebook statuses about what was going on.

Once the mainstream news media reported this on television, they were more concerned about reporting the commuting issues that local residents had to encounter due to the (Virginia Railway Express) VRE stations being closed down. And, although I understand how upsetting it is to not make it home until almost 10 p.m. at night once the parking lots were open, and how others had to find other ways to get home that was much harder than my own experience; I was disappointed in the fact that this was the bigger focus rather than a discussion of the tragic finding of the remains and loss of a human being.

Are we that desensitized that this issue takes a back seat to a nasty commute home? Again, our M.P. Patch editor, Jamie Rogers, provided food for thought during this morning’s Facebook status asking for comments on the thoughts of this recent crime being linked to other human remains being found only 4.5 miles from this location just last Friday. I wasn’t aware of this story since I was out of town last week, so this information was certainly concerning and thought provoking.

Sadly, the mainstream media only repeated the same story about the bad commute caused by human remains being found on the VRE tracks as it did the night before. Perhaps it’s because all of this is still under investigation and there are little answers right now.

I hope that this is the case and that we as a people care more about lives loss, protecting our community and finding answers rather than how it inconvenienced our commutes.

Kismet May

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