Hundreds gathered last night for a candlelight vigil in Omaha, organized to remember the four Boy Scouts killed in the tornado that tore through the Little Sioux Scout Camp in western Iowa Wednesday evening. Three of the boys were from Omaha, the fourth was from Iowa.
Father John Schlegel, the president of Creighton University in Omaha, is an Eagle Scout who visited with five young scouts who were hospitalized after they were seriously injured in the tornado.
“It is chilling, my friends, when a 13 year old looks at you and says, ‘I have seen death. The Scout next to me did not make it,'” Father Schlegal said. “You look into this 13-year-old’s eyes and they were just dull.” But Schlegal told the crowd gathered outside the Mid-America Council of the Boy Scouts office in Omaha that each of the tornado’s survivors will be stronger and better prepared for life because of the tragedy.
Lloyd Roitstein of the Mid-America Council told those gathered that the survivors called upon their skills to help others. “They took control of the situation and they took everything that they had learned and they made it work,” he said, “and as parents and Scout leaders and family members, how more proud can we be than these young men here?”
In addition to the four teenage scouts who were killed at the camp, 48 others — boys and leaders — were injured, some seriously. About a dozen are still hospitalized.