By Jason Schwinger
When the flames die down, let's hope that the media frenzy changes direction. The period of shock and feeling of nausea we felt last night was in direct proportion to the media's quantity of visual horrors. News vans shot their footage and the local media streamed their content - the grim detail has now forever been documented. The type of plane, the pounds of fuel it carried, maintenance records, and the surely hypothetical - and irrelevant 'what-ifs' will play out until we all form our own theory of the night Continental 3407 went down. Countless hours of video and thousands of pictures of indistinguishable flaming property were broadcast before the last ambulance left Clarence.
The last ambulance left Clarence, empty. The only survivors were those lucky enough to be beyond the diameter of the crater left by the devastating wreckage.
Buffalo is a small city. It's very likely that nearly everyone will know a victim, a family member, or someone otherwise close to one of the 50 left dead. These are the details to remember, the stories to uncover. We don't have the sick luxury of 'feeling badly', and 'having our hearts go out' to the families and friends of victims of a tragedy in a far-away state. It's literally in our backyard. The victims' families need to be the priority - their grief, their stories, their memories and final moments with friends and loved ones.
The horrific details are all in and logged. The internet - FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, et al. ad nauseum, were the direct lifeline and source for critical information those first few hours Thursday night. Now, the plea to the media, bloggers and social networkers has to be to keep it up with the more humane backstories. It will be hard; the "easy" part is the adrenaline rush of the flames, sirens, lights, and smoky night sky. The real story, now, lies in the souls of those the victims left behind.