As in the past, the last column of the year is devoted to some of those who left us during it.
We are all still thinking about the children in Connecticut---twenty tender lives forever ended. I was reminded of a twenty-first--Trayvon Martin, a teenager killed early in 2012 by a Neighbrhood Watch actvist who suspected young Martin of, well, I suppose I'll never know exactly what.
We lost Warren Rudman, a forthright New England senator; Arlen Specter, a senator who switched parties--do they have two where you are now, sir? And George McGovern, the Democrats' presidential candidate in 1972, whose slogan, "Come Home, America," did not bring Americans back from Vietnam nor spark enough votes for him to win.
We lost Neil Armstrong, whose line when he first walked upon the moon, "a small step for a man," turned out to be sadly true. The moon race flickered; no one walks there now. The first American woman in space, Sally Ride, gave girls the dream that they could one day.
We lost Andy Griffith, an entertainment empire; Gore Vidal, a fine writer; Ray Bradbury, one whose talents reached Mars; Joe Paterno, the winningest football coach ever; and Mike Wallace and Richard Threlkeld, who greatly raised the standards of my own field, broadcast news.