It was one year ago today that four Mainland High School football players lost their lives in a tragic car accident on the Garden State Parkway.
Killed were Casey Brenner, Edgar Bozzi, Dean Khoury, and Nicholas Conner.
Lives were changed forever as a result of that day. Not only the lives and family and friends, but of a whole community. The Mainland community - and the "extended Mainland community" - came together to mourn and to attempt to heal.
Personally, I've been in media for more than 25 years. I've become hardened to a lot of things, but this tragedy hit home for me. While I didn't know any of the boys, I'm sure my 17 year-old son, Michael,played against at least a couple of them on the baseball field. This was a tragedy that I simply can't imagine, and my heart certainly continues to go out to the families who lost their loved ones.
A song that meant a lot to many affected by the tragedy was "The Boys of Fall" by Kenny Chesney. Earlier this summer, I had the chance to pass along a note to Chesney from one of the dads, and I personally was able to tell Chesney just what his song meant in a time of mourning and healing. For that opportunity to talk with Chesney about this, I will always be grateful.
Today, we remember. Today, we are all Mainland.