For my job as a producer for the CBS News magazine “48 Hours,” I meet a lot people in the middle of unspeakable tragedies, families whose loved ones have been murdered. Working on a story about Canada’s “Highway of Tears” — where dozens of women have gone missing or have been murdered over the past 40 years — I met many such families.

But here’s the thing — as sad as these stories are, I am always amazed at incredible dignity displayed by these families. They soldier on with their lives, often express no bitterness, and draw on an inner strength that seems beyond the bounds of human behavior. It’s hard for me not to think of these families as the best people in the world. Life has hit them hard but they stand up to it.

Consider the Highway of Tears story I helped produce for this week’s (11/17) “48 Hours” (you can always watch it online after Saturday at

— Dawn & Eldon Scott whose 20-year-old daughter Maddy disappeared from a campsite in May 2011. They’re devastated of course but they marshaled their resources to offer a $100,000 reward for information regarding Maddy’s disappearance.

— Doug Leslie whose 15-year-old blind daughter was killed by a 20-year-old alleged serial killer, now up on charges of killing four women. Doug started the Loren Donn Leslie Foundation in honor of his daughter.

— Matilda Wilson and Tom Chipman have been dealing with the murders or disappearances of their daughters for years and yet both have that quiet dignity I’m talking about. Same with Claudia Williams who was with her sister Alberta when she disappeared in 1989.

It’s a very tough road these folks have to plow but they’re doing it….somehow and they are remarkable.

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