My View • Boy's disappearance touches many lives as mystery deepens
by: L.E. BASKOW, Angela McBryde uses a touch of face paint to show her support for missing 7-year-old Kyron Horman's family during a June 15 candlelight vigil. The search for the boy is now a criminal investigation.

Kyron Horman's mysterious disappearance from Skyline School has stunned the Portland area and sent ripples of heartache throughout Oregon and into the United States.

Kyron - best known as the boy smiling in front of his science project, peering from behind a pair of rectangle-rimmed glasses and still waiting on a few teeth - has nestled his way into the soft spot of even the most cantankerous amongst us. His personal tragedy has had a potent effect on thousands of people, prompting a nationwide campaign to bring him home.

He won't soon be forgotten.

The idea that so many people care deeply for a child they may never meet is seen as strange in a society so focused on self gratification. That being said, it's an incredibly important phenomenon that represents a resurgence of long-forgotten tenderness in today's culture. This tenderness has the power to create a rare kind of compassion with the capacity to make things happen - things that exceed all rational possibilities.

The case of Kyron Horman has far-reaching implications that go beyond the need for heightened security at schools. What his story and its possible outcomes have been marked by is hope. It's a hope that goes much deeper than the four-letter word thrown around in casual conversation. It's hope that brings a breed of supernatural workings that even those without a faith can believe in. It's hope that has the power to bring about a change in reality through prayer.

It's hope that transcends cultural boundaries to create the stuff only miracles are made of.

Kyron Horman has had a strong, unthinkable impact on my life in the few short days that I have been privy to his story. A few times, people have questioned why I feel so strongly about a boy I will probably never meet, and I can't say I understand why his story breaks my heart with the same intensity regardless of how many times I've heard it.

All I'm certain of is that he has left an imprint far greater than I can articulate, and moreover has shown me the importance of caring about someone who I've never known but nonetheless has taught me lessons I could never have learned in my 14 years of schooling. The most important of these lessons is that to simply recognize injustice is meaningless. To make any real difference requires action, even if the only possible action is to hope without ceasing.

For all of those who, like me, have shed tears for this little boy who loved tree frogs and the color red, for all of those who have searched tirelessly for some sign or some answer, and for all of those who have been altered in such an unexplainable manner by this disappearance: Comfort can be found in the absolute power that comes from praying, hoping and pleading for a miracle.

Brittany Baker is a journalism student at McMinnville's Linfield College. She lives in Beaverton.

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