Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the plane crash that took the lives of 10 people Sunday at the Soldotna airport.
First and foremost, our hearts go out to the families and friends of the people who perished in this tragedy. By all accounts, everyone aboard the plane was a remarkable person, each in his or her own right.
Willy Rediske was known in the community as an excellent pilot who took very good care of his equipment. He had a reputation as a true professional in his line of work.
A memorial service and pot luck for Willy Rediske will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday at the hangar in Nikiski.
Likewise, the McManus and Antonakos families were well respected in their hometown of Greenville, S.C. — upstanding professionals, top students, active in their church and community. According to The Associated Press, memorial services are planned for the families today at their church in Greenville.
Our thoughts also are with the emergency response professionals, those who first responded to the crash, and those now tasked with piecing together the cause.
It is human nature to want to know why something happens, particularly when a tragedy claims so many lives. There is already plenty of speculation as to what might have gone wrong; we hope investigators are able to glean an explanation from the wreckage left behind. We hope that whatever is learned from this accident will help prevent an accident in the future.
Alaska is a beautiful place. Its ruggedness beckons to people like Willy Rediske, who find opportunity in its remoteness, and to visitors like the McManus and Antonakos families, here for an adventure. But the same things that make Alaska beautiful also make it dangerous, and sometimes, even with the most thorough of preparations, the worst comes to pass and all we can do is mourn our loss.