Music itself is such an evocative form of expression, but perhaps no single instrument better conveys human emotion than the cello. Anyone who has heard concertos by Robert Schumann or Edward Elgar can attest to that. The cello's sound has been aptly compared closest to the human voice.
How sad that such a stirring voice in Augusta has been silenced.
If you hadn't heard of David Reader before his shooting death early Sunday, you might have heard him play. As principal cellist of the Augusta Symphony, the tremendously talented 26-year-old had just finished his first season performing with the orchestra.
Reader's final performance was in Evans, at the symphony's Pops! Under the Stars concert. But just hours later, shortly past midnight, the young man died from two gunshot wounds to the chest while he sat in his idling car, parked on East Boundary Street. Authorities say the scene has all the earmarks of a drug deal that had turned sour.
A man who has stirred the emotions of so many music lovers with his cello has now stirred another emotion -- heart-wrenching sadness -- through his untimely death.
But for many others, accompanying that emotion are anger and confusion.
Why did this have to happen? How can a dastardly assailant treat a person's artistically rich life so cheaply?
There's an underworld most of us never see or hear about, and we certainly never cross paths with. But it's a world that brave law enforcement officers navigate every day to keep us safe.
And there are many, many others who are victimized by that underworld who don't get as much attention. We mustn't forget such people as Roosevelt Cowins, the 65-year-old Fenwick Street man who was fatally shot three times in a March home invasion.
Our hearts go out to anyone who has lost loved ones through such despicable attacks.
But now our hands and heads need to set to work. We've got to stop ignoring this other world of drugs and insane, needless violence and take back our streets -- reclaiming the "bad" parts of town until there are no parts that could be termed "bad."
The police can't do it alone. They need the help of a public that is on the side of law, and of what is right. Get involved.