one year ago: the Lac-Mégantic tragedy


life has been busy. time online is limited for me right now. i was originally planning to post my final “part 2” of our trip to the smokeys over the weekend, but yard sales, date nights, and life in the great outdoors beckoned.


i also happened to read an article out of my parents’ copy of yankee magazine on july 4th and wanted very much to share it here. you see, yesterday, july 6th, was the first anniversary of an astounding tragedy that struck Lac-Mégantic, Québec. i found out when i sat down to peruse Yankee Magazine a few days ago that i had never even heard of this tragedy. it happened so close to New England. and not only did it happen so close to New England, it’s something so appalling and saddening that i’m shocked i managed to not learn of its occurrence ever before. had you heard of this story?


From Yankee Magazine:

In the early-morning hours of July 6 last year, a train carrying more than 10,000 tons of crude oil derailed and exploded in the small town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, just across the Maine border. What happened in that moment claimed the lives of 47 people and changed the town forever. The aftershocks continue to be felt everywhere in New England where freight cars rumble past.”

The article, written by Geoffrey Douglas, attempts to capture the heart break of this small town and the astounding impact the crash had on its culture. I heard NPR matter-of-factly refer to the anniversary of the explosion on the news yesterday. The facts are cold and distant. This article thrusts you into the dirty mess of it all and attempts to sit with and digest the reality of the aftermath.


I want you to read it. The whole thing. It’s so important to hear this story and to know that it’s a part of all of our stories. The story of our collective society and culture. That we depend on oil, that we search for more oil domestically, and that our expanding dependence on this oil can and will lead to catastrophes such as this. If you prefer not to flip through the pages of the website, like me, then pick up a copy at the store, or read it as a PDF that I made using Safari and Adobe: LacMéganticTragedy_YankeeMag


Thank you.

(all photos are mine from a few years ago. they don’t have anything to do with Lac-Mégantic, but they are quiet and calm and from a summer I spent on Isle Royale in northern Lake Superior.)




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