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That's a nice Christmas gift. Ketchikan waits anxiously each year about this time, just like the kids do for Christmas morning, to discover what the next cruise ship schedule looks like.

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Phillip Dean Nehl, 59, died Dec. 10, 2014, in Ketchikan after a long battle with heart failure.
David Jmmanuel (Keith Gustaf Dahl), 50, died Oct. 28, 2014, suddenly of natural causes at home in Ketchikan.
Frank Chester Leask, 76, died Dec. 9, 2014, in Metlakatla.
11/21/2012
Giving thanks

Ketchikan lost two of its youngest citizens this week.

A car careened out of control Monday night on South Tongass Highway and into a guardrail, killing two of four occupants.

As much as this community would like, it cannot turn back time and prevent the tragedy.

Nor will time stand still, giving Ketchikan time to deal with the shock, the pain, the grief and the loss before the dawn of a new day.

The clock continues to tick, marking the moments to the next day and the next one, until Thursday, Thanksgiving Day.

First, the tremendous loss; then a federal holiday mindful of the importance of counting blessings and being thankful for what has been received.

This Thanksgiving the victims and those who loved them most are in our thoughts, and they will be for a long time to come.

The police and other emergency personnel who responded to the accident scene aren't likely to forget anytime soon. We're thankful for their quick and professional response. They come whenever they're called, despite how much they can or cannot help.

The doctors and nurses called on to care aren't likely to forget, either. They, the ambulance personnel and the medevac team respond at a moment's notice, and receive our most sincere appreciation.

We're glad for the community of family and friends here; those who will provide as much love and comfort as the families touched by this tragedy can stand.

Indeed, we know we have much for which to be thankful despite our circumstances or the situation. As we express our thanks this week, let's all be mindful of those who need us most and be available to answer their call for help now and forever. That's what a community does.