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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                         (Gabarone, Botswana)
For Immediate Release                                     March 29, 1998
                     FOR THE MEMORIAL SERVICES IN
                          JONESBORO, ARKANSAS

THE PRESIDENT: Hillary and I wish we could be with you all as you remember and give thanks for the lives of Natalie Brooks, Paige Ann Herring, Stephanie Johnson, Brittany Varner, and Shannon Wright.

Our prayers have been with their families and with all of you over these last few days. Every one of them made Jonesboro a better place. Every one of them had much to live for and much still to give. For now, you must all be thankful for the cherished memories you have.

Like all of you, I do not understand what dark force could have driven young people to do this terrible thing. As President, I have seen many children killed by political fanatics, but in some ways, this is even harder to grasp. For now, all we can do is to pray for peace and healing for their families, and for Jonesboro. And, indeed, we should pray for the families of the two young suspects, for their suffering, too, must be grievous.

Saint Paul reminds us that we all see things in this life through a dark glass, that we only partly understand what is happening to us. But one day, face to face with God, we will see all things, even as He sees us.

For four fine young girls and an outstanding teacher, that day has come. May God bless them, their families, and all of you.