Helicopter Tragedy, Nepal 2006: Book of Condolences: Messages so far

"I am saddened to hear about the sudden and untimely demise of our resource people relating to wildlife and natural resources in the helicopter crash at Dunsha, Nepal. I give my heartfelt condolence to their bereaved family. May their souls rest in peace."
Arun Parajuli, BSC forestry, Pokhara campus, Nepal

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"May there souls rest in peace."
Seema A Kadrikar, INDIA

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"This is a tragic loss to Conservation and Nepal. May God bless the families of such highly motivated conservationists"
Binay Aryal, Kathmandu

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"A huge loss to mankind and nature. They will be remembered till the world exists."
Pratap, Nepal

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"Salute to conservation leaders. We always follow the path you have shown"
Rajesh Rai, Sweden

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"During my six years with WWF-US I always enjoyed working closely with Mingma and Chandra. I can hardly believe we have lost them - tireless colleagues, effective conservationists, kind and good men. Few come close to improving the lives of so many people and, literally, saving so much of the planet as they did. I thank them and their WWF and Nepalese colleagues who were aboard the helicopter for their efforts, their successes, and for leaving such an incredible and inspiring legacy for the rest of us to now carry forward."
Jenny Roahen Rizzo, formerly with WWF-US

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"Their achievements and inspiration will live on. My condolences to their families and loved ones."
Greg, N. Ireland

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"All my sincere condolences to the family and friends of our dear colleagues who perished in this tragic accident."
Carine Seror, WWF-China

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"That's heartbreaking. Even for someone who's not part of any of those families. May god be with you all, friends and family, that his hand of comfort, refuge, and love may be upon you."
Stephanie Raposo, Alberta, Canada

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"Mingma was a wonderful person. I truly enjoyed getting to know him and send my sincere condolences to his immediate and extended family at WWF."
Caren Seidle, Acorn Ventures

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"Heartfelt condolences to the departed family. We have lost our family members when the world needed them a lot, but we promise to keep them alive with our performance and fulfill the dreams they have dreamt. May the souls rest in peace."
Lak Tsheden Theengh, WWF-India, Sikkim Programme Office

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"I am deeply saddened by the tragedy and I send deepest condolences to families, friends and relatives of the victims though my message is coming late since I was away in a remote part of my country at the time of the accident."
M/s Salesa koto Abdi, Kenya

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"It is with deep sorrow that I learnt of the tragedy recently of such heroes of conservation. There names and good work will always dwell in our heart as I especially remember that they died on a conservation duty. They will remain my heroes and example of dedication to conservation. Am very sorry.."
Abigael N. Tamooh, Project Extension Officer, WWF-Mara, Kenya

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"There is nothing much to say except that this has been a great loss but we must carry on the work of the brave comrades. God bless"
Anon.

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"I would like to express my sadness to the loss of great conservationists, sociologists, geologists & other intellectual people who had contributed to the nation in the conservation, management, planning & research."
Hari krishna laudari, Student (B.Sc forestry), Pokhara

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Though some time has passed since the tragic helicopter accident in Kanchenjunga, I still find it terribly difficult to comprehend the loss of so many colleagues and friends. Chandra Gurung was a friend, mentor and colleague. I can say, without fear of contradiction, that he was instrumental in guiding me into the nature conservation field. I know that I and many, many others in Nepal and throughout the world will miss his larger-than life presence. I mourn that I won't hear his laughter, his storytelling, his advice or see his dancing.

Devendra, Gland, Switzerland

"Dear WWF family, I'm shocked and saddened to hear about your great loss in this tragic incident. My sincere condolences and empathy to the bereaved families. May God grant you all the strength to carry on. Sarala Di my prayers are with you."
Sreelekha Rai, UAE

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"Heartfelt condolences to all the families and friends of the dignified conservationists, who were taken away by the tragic helicopter accident. May their souls rest in peace."
Arun S. Poudyal, Department of Forest, Babarmahal, Kathmandu

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"I just want to express my heartfelt condolence to all family members, relatives & colleagues of the deceased. You & your work will always be remembered."
Gurung Dhiraj, Hong Kong

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"My deepest condolences to the families and friends of the deceased ones."
Heini, Finland

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"I'm very sorry for your loss. It is a great tragedy. They will never be forgotten and their work will never go unrecognized. Be strong."
Kevin and Adrian Hogendoorn, Ontario, Canada

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"Like others in the extended WWF family I struggled through the early days of the search in hopes that somehow that cranky, noisy but usually reliable workhorse helicopter had come down easy enough to walk away from. But it didn't. And so my long-distance friend Mingma didn't walk away, along with other men and women of great character and dedication and commitment to things wider than just personal gain."

"It is a terrible loss, with consequences and impacts both local and widespread. In my 20 years or so of intermittent contact with Mingma Norbu Sherpa, I came to think of him as a model of a person of simple origins and extraordinary intelligence, who, offered just enough assistance in his formative years, rose to become a highly respected force in conservation not only in his home country but over a wide region."

"After rising to become the first Nepali Chief Warden of Sagarmatha National Park, Mingma served periods of time and training in WWF-US, which led to service as WWF Country Representative Nepal/Bhutan, where he was instrumental in beginning many critically needed programs, especially in community based conservation such as in the Kangchenjunga Project."

"Mingma's skills and understanding of the region of his upbringing were recognized in his selection to direct WWF-US's Eastern Himalayan programs, a role which led to his being on that helicopter. Perhaps he could have just sent an e-mail of congratulations from his office far away, but that would not have been his way. I will always remember Mingma for the warm and friendly and helpful way he always received a visit or a call for advice, even if those visits or calls came years or continents apart."

"He never seemed to forget me-someone who prefers the field project to the policy role-even though he had gone on to wider and wider responsibilities. To my friends and former colleagues in WWF-US, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Viet Nam, and to the staff in WWF Nepal and Bhutan, and to Mingma's family and the families of all the others who perished in the pursuit of these good works, I convey my regrets and sympathies, as well as a commitment to keep to the task."
Alan Robinson, Buena Vista, Colorado USA, former WWF field staff

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"Mis palabras de condolencia, ante tan sentida perdida, y bueno esperanza de que se superen los malos momentos, y que los bonitos recuerdos y trabajos dejados alivien el pesar de ahora, y les den fuerza para continuar el trabajo de los que nos dejan fisicamente pero que estaran apoyandolos desde sus pensamientos sinceramente."
Isla Margarita, VZL

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"WWF and conservation have lost some champions. We worked with Mingma Sherpa in Bhutan in 2003 and we were impressed with his beliefs and enthusiasm. He has left us some enduring memories and a wish to continue on supporting conservation in the Himalayas."
John Weiss and Penny Richards, Victoria, Australia

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"May the families and friends find solace in the difference they made to conserving life on Earth. I personally will miss Jill Bowling - an amazing Australian."
Andreas Glanznig, WWF-Australia

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"I'm so sorry! Receive my condolences!"
Paola, Lima, Peru

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"I would just like to send my condolences and say that the people that passed are heroes and will be remembered. God Bless "
Ariana Mutnjakovic, Ontario

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"Such sad news is really a blow. Let us not forget them and instead allow them to inspire more people to fight to save our planet. They have certainly inspired me."
Michelle, Singapore

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"To the families and friends of those who lost their lives, We share your grief and they will not be forgotten. God bless you."
Aafia Suhail, Pakistan

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"My prayers are with you."
Rachael. British Columbia, Canada

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"I feel great sadness for the crew & staff that died in the helicopter crash on Sept. 23. My heart goes out to their families. People like them will be remembered for a long time for their goodness and dedication to make a difference in this life. God Bless!"
Anna G., Toronto

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My heart goes out to Phurba, Dawa, Tenzing and all those whose loved ones were on that helicopter. I always felt so fortunate to see Mingma's gentle smile on his visits to the Buddhist Temple near Washington DC - it was as if he brought a bit of Khumbu with him each time he visited. We are lighting candles at the Stupas for all who died, and send prayers for strength and courage to all.

Maura Daly, for the Sangha at Kunzamg Palyul Chling, Poolesville, Maryland

"The place of Angels is in the heaven!"
Anne-M. Kolehmainen, Finland

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"There must have been a very high calling for these special people to have been lost. The work they were doing and plans they were making were to benefit many beings. My wish is that they have achieved enlightenment and are now enjoying Nirvana. Blessings to all family and friends that were lost. Many prayers and thoughts are with you."
Jeaneen, Huntington Beach, CA, USA

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"I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the semester in Provo back in 1997 that we all spent together after our missions. We had a fun time - lots of great memories. I realized then that Matt has a special gift for connecting with people through his genuine personality and his HUMOR!! I am amazed at what he accomplished in the last 9 years! My heart goes out to his family. They are in my prayers as well as the families of the others that were lost that day. Till we meet again."
Melissa Taylor, Provo Utah

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"In this cruel twist of fate, Nepal and the world has lost a constellation of prominent conservationists. I personally knew many of the individuals who perished in the helicopter crash. I mourn the loss, and send my heartfelt and deepest condolences to WWF and the families of the deceased."
Ambika Prasad Adhikari, Phoenix, USA

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"I have been putting this off for too long. Matt Preece was my cousin and a very close friend. I will miss him very much as will many of you. What an amazing man he was! He would light up any room he entered and his laughter was contagious. I am happy to have shared so many memories with him and am saddened by the fact that he won't be making more with me. He left this earth far too early, but while he was here he accomplished so many great things- things many of us will never do. I will miss him more than I can express, but he will never leave my heart."
Rennly Williams, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

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"I salute all those who gave their lives for the cause they truly believed in. They spent their lives doing what they were best at and loved doing. May the Almighty provide strength to their friends and family members to cope with this unbearable loss. I personally mourn the loss of my family member, Dr. Bigyan Acharaya, a wonderful human being, bestowed with intelligence, compassion, and love for all. I pray that his wife Sujata and two lovely kids, Sakar and Shreya get strength to move on with their lives cherishing the warm memories of their awesome husband and father."
Pabitra Rijal Josse, Florida USA

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"I was really sad to hear about Jenn's tragic accident - she was a gem at our 'Be The Change' conference in the UK in 2005, and her life of giving - and being - inspires us to do what matters. -condolences to her family and friends."
Tatiana and BTC team

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"I am so saddened to hear of this terrible tragedy. I spent time in Nepal in 1998, 2000, and 2001, and wrote my undergraduate thesis on the Kangchenjunga Conservation Area. I had the pleasure of spending considerable time in the WWF Kathmandu office, as well as actually interviewing Mingma Norbu Sherpa in Washington, DC for my thesis. He was an amazing man. My heart goes out to their families. I sincerely hope that their work lives on forever. "
Elizabeth Grubin, NYC, NY; SIT Nepal, 1999; WWF Nepal volunteer, 2001

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