I had planned to write today and tell you that I’ve reversed my decision about attending the party the city is hosting for the volunteers tonight. I remember reading in the Air Force Officer’s Guide (no, we didn’t have a copy at home; I found it in a school library), that if you’re invited to a party that you should always attend. It is, however, only necessary to put in an appearance by staying for 30 minutes. (I think that’s unless the host writes your performance report). As charming as my fellow volunteers are, the thought of hanging out in a night club with hundreds of 19 and 20 year-olds and the corresponding music is not enticing. I enjoy an evening in a bar as much as the next person, but I really like to be able to carry on a conversation.
I haven’t received news of tonight’s event being canceled, but it will definitely take on a different tone than the organizer originally planned. I learned yesterday that a young Irish fan was missing in a city north of Poznan. The news came this afternoon, that a body has been pulled from the river in Bydgoszcz. The documents of James Nolan, the missing 21 year-old, engineering student were found on the body. His family is coming from to Poland to make positive identification.
My heart aches for them. He was here with 10 friends in Poznan for Ireland first match with Croatia. They traveled to Gdansk by campervan for the match with Spain. On their way back to Poznan, they stopped in Bydgoszcz. It’s reported that he and his friends separated, dispersing after an altercation with locals in the early hours of Sunday morning. When the friends reunited, James was not among them. His friends and the Polish police have been searching ever since.
For such an exciting adventure to end this way, is beyond tragic. I think we all need to start listening to our parents when they tell us to “be careful.” as we head out the door, no matter how old we are. Remember James, his family, and friends in your prayers, won’t you?