Mickey Leland: Late Honors

In death, Mickey Leland won allies he rarely had in life

The roar of an airplane engine is one of the few things that bring hope to the Fugnido refugee camp, a desolate stretch of Ethiopia where 57,000 survivors of Sudan's civil war subsist. But on Aug. 7, Fugnido's residents listened in vain for the sound of the Twin Otter carrying Texas Congressman Mickey Leland, 44, who had visited five times before. His plane had crashed nose-first into a mountain 30 miles away, killing all 16 aboard.

When searchers located the disintegrated plane last week, the late-night vigils in Leland's Capitol Hill office ended, and the Washington practice of canonizing its own...

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