We were saddened over the weekend to learn of the death of Great Britain's Princess Diana.

She and her companion, Dodi Fayed, were killed in a car crash as their car was being pursued by independent photographers on motorcyles - a grim ending to a life that was anything but a royal fairy tale.

Indeed, the paparazzi paid constant attention to every detail of her turbulent divorce and her later relationship with a millionaire beau - but not nearly enough attention to the cause she made a personal goal.

The Princess of Wales tried to use her position as a public figure to call attention to the dangers posed to children and innocent civilians by land mines. She sought a global ban on the evil weapons. And at the behest of the British Red Cross, she traveled to Angola in January to see firsthand the devastation caused by land mines. The princess was criticized by Britain's then-ruling Conservative Party for discussing a military issue and calling for a complete ban.

We suspect she will be remembered long after John Major is forgotten. But in any event, her view was shared by Vermont Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy. The Green Mountain State's senior senator said in June: "As one who has tangled with my own government over this issue, I was not entirely surprised when the reaction of the former British government was not entirely favorable. But neither was I surprised that the British public understood perfectly that this is about people - innocent people - losing their legs, their arms and their lives from one of the most insidious, cruel weapons ever invented."

Despite a troubled life, Princess Di tried to make a troubled world a better place. And that's why the world will miss her.

& nbsp;

Copyright 1997

The Caledonian-Record

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