DEAR ABBY: I live and work in the Maryland area where a majority of the sniper shootings took place. I want the world -- and the murderers -- to know that in the terrible days of fear and uncertainty before the arrests, the people of this area came closer together than I ever thought possible. Law enforcement worked countless hours overtime. Adults used their own bodies to shield children going into schools in the morning and out at the end of the day.
On the morning of the last shooting, I had to take my car to the garage. I was not prepared to leave it overnight and had not arranged for transportation home. No one I called for a ride was home. I was amazed when a total stranger offered to give me a lift. As we drove, we talked. We had a lot in common, including feelings of despair at the senseless loss of life and pain that had been forced on all of us during the shooting spree.
Abby, I offer this example of kindness to the families and friends of each victim, along with this message: The evil of two brought out the kindness and compassion of thousands. Our pain doesn't compare to yours, who tragically lost your loved ones, but please know you are in our hearts and prayers. -- KAREN GILLETTE, HYATTSVILLE, MD.
DEAR KAREN: That's very well said. No one in any part of the country could watch the news without feeling empathy for the families of the victims and the fear experienced by those living in the areas that were affected.