Re: Deepest Sympathies For A Terrible Loss!
A little more info:
Blast shatters friends' adventure
Saturday, April 09, 2005
By Dave Murray
The Grand Rapids Press
KENTWOOD -- Brothers Alex and Erik Mirandette had spent months touring Africa on motorcycles, delivering medicine to small towns along the way. They recently were joined by two friends, and the foursome planned to go mountain climbing and embark on other adventures.
But the Kentwood men's cross-continent journey and missionary work took a tragic turn Thursday when a nail-packed terrorist's bomb ripped through an Egyptian marketplace.
Alex Mirandette, 18, was killed and his brother Erik, 22, and friends Michiel Kiel, 21, and Kristopher Ross, 22, were seriously injured. The explosion also killed a French woman, the bomber and injured 15 others.
Erik Mirandette was in serious condition in a Cairo hospital. Kiel lost part of his biceps, and Ross sustained injuries to his eyes, Kiel's sister, Julie TenHaaf, said. All suffered burns and lacerations from the bomb.
The four had been inseparable friends since middle school and were looking forward to adventures across Africa, said TenHaaf.
"They grew up together and did everything together," said TenHaaf, of Kentwood, who planned to leave for Africa on Friday night, along with the Mirandettes' parents.
Both Mirandette brothers were star pole vaulters for the East Kentwood High School track team, with Erik crowned state champion in 2000 and Alex earning fifth-place statewide last year...
Alex joined his older brother last summer after graduating in May 2004 and again earlier this year when they set out across Africa on their motorcycles for what they called "a trip with purpose." They would deliver medicine for people suffering from AIDS as they explored cities and small towns...
"It's upsetting because these are first-class kids, and they didn't go over there to get involved with politics. Yet they get caught in some bombing. They've never hurt anyone. It just doesn't make sense. You wonder why this would happen to these kids."
Fellow Aikidoka, please watch this forum as a memorial fund is being set up to help defray the costs of flying the family, their injured son and the body of the son they so tragically lost, back home to the states. A memorial Aikido seminar is also in the process of being developed to help further defray those costs. Please also use this forum to express your kind words for a fellow Aikidoka in a tremendous time of need.