As I mentioned, I’m traveling this week in Italy and Germany with my 17-year-old son. I had a drink yesterday with a friend who is here in Trento with his 19-year-old son, who is finishing a gap year in Europe with some backpacking — this, before returning to the US to start college in the fall. We drank bright-tasting Trentino red wine and talked about the pleasures of being a young man on your own in Europe for the first time, having adventures and discovering things about this wondrous continent — and yourself. My friend’s son went on and on about how much he has gotten out of this year. He looks so tanned, happy, and full of life.

And then, tonight, I saw this, on Facebook:

Daniel Holland, 20, was a student at the University of Oklahoma. Jesse Hare, the pal with whom he had been traveling, made it to the other side. His life will never be the same.

Check out Daniel Holland’s Facebook page. He and Jesse had been having so much fun. Now this. It’s heartbreaking. May the Holy Spirit comfort those who loved him, may his soul rest in peace, and may his memory be eternal.