Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Remembering Kevin Ryan

"Clasping their hands, Kevin Ryan's father, Charlie, and Ryan’s uncle, Jamie, speak about some of their favorite memories of Kevin in Clarksville, Md., Wednesday. The two created a golf tournament to raise money for a memorial scholarship fund in remembrance of Kevin."

His Facebook wall is filled with messages from friends and family and the tribute group has over 1,000 people in it. But these memories celebrating his life won't bring back Kevin Ryan.

A tragic, sad story, these are situations that are not only difficult for those directly affected by the loss, but those covering the story as well.

Journalists are to be objective. But sometimes, most times, it's hard to not put yourself in your subjects shoes, especially when someone young passes. It's only natural to show sensitivity and compassion.

Unfortunately, sadness is a part of all journalist's jobs and we're only doing our job by reporting on the situation.

Last October, a hit-and-run claimed the Towson University freshmen's life as he walked from an off-campus house to his dormitory.

Since the accident, his family has struggled through the painful realization that he is gone.

“There’s not an hour that goes by that you’re not reminded of this,” said Ryan’s uncle, Jamie Ryan, in an article in The Examiner.

While, this story was placed on front pages in the area last year, the story is circulating again, not because of the trial approaching in July, but because of a golf tournament created by the family to raise money for a memorial scholarship fund in his name.

Knowing this would be a top story, Nick and I headed down to Clarksville on Wednesday to report and shoot some images.

While it's never easy to speak on a discomforting event that has changed many peoples lives, Kevin's father and uncle were very nice and open about what happened to their family and friends.

They respected us and made our job effortless, allowing us to show the human interest and spread insight on their loss.

I can't image what it's like to go through an awful event like this. But I couldn't help but to put my camera down at times and just listen.

It was comforting to see joy expressed when they reminisced on his life.

I did my best to try and capture their joy, but I knew, from also experiencing a family death, that sorrow and pain was still there. I saw this in their tightly grasped hands as they spoke to Nick.

This works well with the story, and I know Nick touches on the wrist bands also created in his memory.

For more information check out Kevin Ryan's Gift Web site.

Also check out the story on The Towerlight.


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