HOLY INNOCENTS: 28 December 2007: "Childermas Day"

I've always said that my sister, Teresa, gives new meaning to "Holy Innocents!" December 28th is her birthday, so I always keep her in mind on that day. But while travelling back to DePere after a few days with Teresa and my other family members for Christmas, I had something else on my mind that day.

You see, as one departs HWY 45 to junction with HWY 29 East, as you're approaching Shawano, you will come across an excavation site halfway between Wittenberg and Shawano. It's not highway construction, nor is it plowing the fields for potatoes or any other seasonal crop. Rather, it's an excavation to find the remains of Amber Wilde, the UW-Green Bay student who has been missing -- and feared dead -- since 23 September 2001.

Back in 2001, there were leads that Amber's body was deposited on a parcel of land close to 29 -- covered up and plowed over immediately amidst the Highway 29 expansion project, back then. I happened to be travelling on 29 the day of the search back in 2001. The traffic was slowed as police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, news satellite trucks -- and a hearse -- were all parked on 29 waiting for some sort of result. The results never came. Shortly before Christmas 2007, the search picked up again, but still with no results.

For the average traveller on 29 who has not been watching the news, one would never know what all that activity was all about -- but for us locals who follow the news, we're perfectly aware of how sobering and delicate this excavation continues to be.

So on this Feast of Holy Innocents, let's not only be aware of those little, innocent boys that Herod put to death in his fight against that first Christmas, but let's also be vigilant of those folks who have come into harm's way and who continue to remain missing this Christmas. May our thoughts and prayers be with them!


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