It happened this week . . . the passing of two men of deep conviction who served their causes in very different ways.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died yesterday in a hospital near Tel Aviv, eight years after slipping into a coma following a stroke.
A hero of Israel's war for independence and many other conflicts that followed, Sharon was a general and politician with an unbelievable commitment to his nation's survival, and no reluctance in bluntly speaking his mind to friend and foe alike.
A steadfast opponent of Palestinian movements for most of his career, he shocked many of his supporters in 2004 when, as Prime Minister, he announced a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Gaza Strip.
President Obama yesterday expressed his condolences for "the loss of a leader who dedicated his life to the State of Israel."
Ariel Sharon was 85.
Franklin McCain's actions spoke louder perhaps than his words.
He was one of the four young black college students who made national headlines by sitting-in at an all-white lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., in 1960.
"The best feeling of my life," he told the Associated Press back in 2010, "was sitting on that dumb stool."
A chemist by profession, McCain remained active in civil rights organizations all his life. He died Thursday of respiratory problems.
Franklin McCain was 73 years old.