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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Carolina Tears

Posted March 7, 2008 7:53 a.m. EST

Our hearts ache. We have cried a collective river of Carolina tears over the last day. The senseless murder of the UNC Student Body President Eve Carson leaves us all asking the question:  Why should someone so warm, gregarious, intelligent, caring and involved have her life snuffed out at such a young and vibrant age?

I watched Thursday night's candlelight tribute to Eve with my daughter Lauren. I told Lauren about the powerful Carolina bond. It has been many years since I graduated from UNC but last night I felt like a student again experiencing the pain of a terrible loss but also the comfort and pride of a wonderful academic community. The music also took me back to my college days. The UNC Clef Hangers hit a powerful emotional chord with their haunting renditions of classics by James Taylor and Simon & Garfunkel.

During a particularly poignant moment during last night's broadcast WRAL's Debra Morgan's voice cracked with emotion. It reminded me of the time when I had to report the death of another member of the UNC community. Like Eve, Tom Brothers was a Morehead Scholar. We were best of friends growing up in Morganton. Several years after graduating from UNC Tom died in a mountain climbing accident in Idaho. Reporting Tom’s death was the toughest moment in my broadcasting career. I also remember my voice cracking on the air when I had to announce the death of UNC alum and my journalistic hero Charles Kuralt.

My heart goes out to Eve’s family. I know the Carolina community is thinking of them and praying for them. Somehow we will get through this tragic loss together.

If you would like to leave a message for the Carsons here on the Carolina Conversations blog and I will make sure it gets to the family.