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Don’t rush to judgement about Reed’s death

The death of Andrew Reed, the man who was struck by a car last Sunday, was tragic on many levels. If there can be a positive side it would be that the death of a second homeless man within a few months calls further attention to the plight of people in our area who have fallen on hard times. Do not think that no one cares because many people in Bemidji are actively involved in one Christian ministry to help homeless individuals and families. SOS (Servants of Shelter) is a group of local churches that opens their doors to offer an evening meal and overnight accommodations for shelter during the colder months.

But that is not my main purpose of writing this letter. Pastor Bob Kelly of the People’s Church was quoted saying, "Our Creator God chose the time and place of our brother Andy’s death as a gift to our greater community." I would agree that God did orchestrate this event, but He also in His Providence made it a part of Floyd LaDuke’s life story, and that is my concern with this letter. I was one of Floyd’s elementary school teachers, and have known him most of his life. He is a gentle, compassionate, serious and hard-working man. I can recall times when Floyd was working three jobs to provide for his family. I’m certain that he is shattered by this experience. I would implore people to refrain from rushing to judgment about this accident, because that is what it was, and if we stop to think, it could have happened to any one of us.

Jan Haley