The deaths of three crew members aboard the EA-6B Prowler that crashed Monday in Eastern Washington saddens us deeply.
The Prowler, part of Electronic Attack Squadron 129, went down in a field during routine training about 50 miles west of Spokane, according to Navy officials.
The cause of the crash isn’t yet known, and probably won’t be known for some time. There will be a complete investigation into what caused the accident.
Meanwhile, it is heartwarming to see the outpouring of caring and support in the community for the families of those who were killed.
A candlelight vigil was quickly organized and held Monday evening in Oak Harbor. More than 100 people turned out to pay their respects. It was one means of showing community solidarity.
The Whidbey News-Times web page at www.whidbeynewstimes.com also became a busy gathering place for those who wanted to share their thoughts and condolences.
“Praying for the safety of the crew. Always liked having a Prowler in the strike package,” one reader of the website said. “Lots of friends there.”
“Prayers go out to these families. Sad day for the airfield community,” said another reader.
“Fair Winds And Following Seas. It’s always sad to lose a service member in combat, but in a training accident all the more painful,” said another post.
Again, there will be a time for questions and, eventually, answers.
Now, however, is a time of sadness and mourning for this tight-knit Navy town.
We join in offering our condolences to the families of those who died.
n Keven R. Graves is executive editor and publisher for the Whidbey News-Times. Send him your comments or suggestions by e-mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org