Many questions remain unanswered since the return of Tara Simhiser to her family in Lehigh last week following her high-profile disappearance that dominated local television broadcasts for several days. Most of us don’t need to know the answers regarding the circumstances that led to the 17-year-old’s unannounced departure, whether it was by choice or coercion. The one clear answer we all have is that the state’s Amber Alert system works—at least this time. The constant, broad exposure of bulletins and photos of the missing pair, spread over television, radio and print, led to the recovery of both persons when a bank teller in Hiawatha recognized the Lehigh youth.
Having one of our own involved in an Amber Alert situation certainly heightened our awareness of its usefulness and importance. When the next one goes out, we should be among the most vigilant. We are among the fortunate ones who can celebrate what appears to be a happy ending to a potentially devastating situation. We should do our part to help the next family experience that good fortune, too. —DR