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Last week marked the 20th anniversary since then Gov. Mel Carnahan tragically died in a plane crash.

The two-term Democratic governor was heading to a campaign event during his bid to seek the U.S. Senate seat held at the time by Republican John Ashcroft.

The plane crash, which occurred amid rain and fog, took the lives of Carnahan, along with his son, Randy, and advisor, Chris Sifford.

It also altered the course of the U.S. Senate race. Carnahan won the race posthumously and his wife, Jean, served in his place.

The crash also deprived the current generation of knowing this past governor, more gentleman than politician.

In an age when politics have more divisiveness and less civility, it's unfortunate that many people in the current generation likely know little about him.

We didn't always agree with his politics, but we could never argue with his calm, polite nature and his love for Missouri.

Social media posts by people who worked with or around Carnahan recently discussed, among other things, his incredible knowledge of Missouri's geography. Even when flying at night, he purportedly could tell where in the state he was just by the light of the moon and city lights.

There's still civility in politics, but, sadly, it seems like the exception now rather than the rule.

Carnahan left a legacy as a passionate Missouri advocate whose civility and gentle, polite personality made him more statesman than politician.

News Tribune

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