Tragedy in NY Should Remind Us to Live

BY: Charles Memminger

Nothing like a terrorist act that kills several thousand innocent people to put your life into perspective. I was worried about a lot of things a week ago, but for the life of me, I can't seem to remember what those things were. Something about money and not having enough of it, I suspect. One of our credit cards is a little high. I was probably worried about that. But then I saw the millions of pieces of paper blown out of the World Trade Center offices, representing financial lives of thousands of people. The Manhattan streets looked like the devil threw a ticker-tape parade. Except, instead of confetti, the sky was filled with the fluttering sheets of peoples' existence: stock orders, inventory lists, personal checkbooks, savings accounts and, who knows, maybe even a laundry list. And as important as those little pieces of paper had been just days before, they were the farthest things from the minds of the victims' families, friends and the rescuers.

So I must be wrong. I couldn't have been worried about one little credit card statement. One piece of paper. That would be absurd. Maybe I was worried about the heat. It has been awfully hot in Hawaii the last few weeks. But watching those firemen clad in stifling heavy protective coats, climbing up and down tons of cement and steel rubble, frying in the New York heat, I knew I must be wrong. I couldn't have possibly been worried about our heat.

Maybe I was worried that we had not had a good heavy rain in a long time. We need rain badly. But then I thought about the people trapped below the rubble in New York and the worries there that it would start raining. The rain would interfere with the rescue operation, possibly making a dangerous situation even worse. Suddenly, lack of rain seemed like a good thing.

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