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Thursday, September 17, 2009

What Annie promised...

There are a lot of things running through my head right now about Annie Le, the 24-year old graduate student at Yale who disappeared last week just days before she was to be married. Her body was found this past Sunday hidden in a basement wall of the campus lab where she had been conducting research.

Nothing I might say could add any substantially new comment about how utterly heartbreaking this story is, about how this happened just as Annie was preparing to spend the rest of her life with her husband-to-be.

I've wanted to say something about how the mainstream news media has once again sacrificed ethics and principles for sake of an admittedly sensational story. And I'm referring to how the press has been all over the story of Raymond Clark, now the main suspect in Annie Le's murder (he's probably being arrested as I write this). Even if Clark did take Le's life, there is a right way to bring him to justice. What I've seen in the past couple of days (particularly the "journalism" of the Associated Press) is not that way at all. I've never believed that anybody accused of murder should be found guilty by the press before due process has been allowed to take place. This kind of "reporting" does nothing to protect liberty and ensure justice, and in fact puts those aspects of American life in greater jeopardy than many might realize.

But mostly, what I can't help think about, is what Annie Le promised us.

This was an absolutely brilliant young woman. Le was considered to be "the next Einstein" by her high school peers (and was valedictorian of her class). She had graduated with honors from the University of Rochester after majoring in cell and developmental biology. And until this past week Le was pursuing her doctorate in pharmacology at Yale.

There is no telling what Annie Le would have brought to the world with that beautiful mind that God had gifted her with. She could have cured a disease or found a way to prevent birth defects. What Annie could have accomplished was practically without limit. But we will never know. That she was taken in such an apparently brutal and senseless fashion is not only a loss to her loved ones, but to all of us.

There was so much potential to change the world for the better, contained in that tiny, beautiful girl with the beaming smile.

And she never got the chance to do that, or to have the happiness that she deserved.

And then I think about how it is, in America today, that there are so many that are just as blessed with talent and ability as Annie Le had been... and those same individuals will never have the opportunity to show us what their promise. Yeah, I'm talking about what you think I'm talking about. But I'm not about to turn this tragedy into a platform for any political agenda.

All I'm saying is this: that this could very well have turned out to be a much different, and indefinitely more promising, world. If only millions of more hearts and minds and souls had been permitted to share their creativity and their passion and their intellect with us.

That is what Annie Le promised.

And I prefer to believe that is what any of us can promise.


Anonymous said...

She was 24 and already doing breakthrough work on diabetes. She could have cured that.

Like you said. Heartbreaking.

~Melinda said...

Agreed about the media. Sick of the circuses that they make out of these situations. Many "journalists" should be labeled as entertainers. Certainly not the journalism that I grew up with.

That said:
This is such a tragic situation for her family & friends, and all the might-have-beens that we strangers can come up with. She was definitely a bright young girl with a promising future. I believe we all have gifts to use while on this earth, and that God has numbered our days and KNOWS that number. Annie accomplished her purpose, whether or not we understand why her time here was so short. There is a bigger purpose in her life and death, and everyone's for that matter, than any of us can comprehend. One day we will all understand though...

Anonymous said...

This horrific murder of Annie Le is very heartbreaking. I can only imagine the pain her husband-to-be has to be feeling. She is so very young for her life to be taken from her at what was probably the happiest time of her life. She is a beautiful girl.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant piece, CK. Especially the underlying point you make. It is a massive tragedy of enormous scope, the lost potential and possibilities.

Mike C. said...

I hate hearing stuff like this...