Perspective (edit -2)

December 26, 2004

A couple of days ago we in the midwest were hit with a rather significant snowstorm that disrupted lives and messed up the travel plans of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands. Mrs, who was supposed to arrive at 2:30 in the afternoon on Thursday, finally got home close to 9:00 pm, luggage intact.

Such was not the fate for thousands who flew on US Air and were separated from their luggage.

Then COMAIR, a regional carrier for Delta, suffered a computer crash that caused them to strand some 30,000 passengers on Christmas day. All flights were canceled, including half of the return trip for Mrs today.

The reporters, of course, have been all over the story, interviewing disgruntled travlers here and there.

I can't tell you how many times I heard - "Christmas is ruined. All my presents were in my checked luggage...."

Whine Whine

"Delta should not be allowed to be in business...."

Whine Whine

So now we come to Sunday after Christmas, flights still canceled, luggage still lost, and out of the clear blue ....

The earth shakes.

I've read that the shake was so violent that the earth actually wobbled in it's oribt.

Then the sea moved.

Tourists lounged on the resort beaches of Thailand.

The sea picked up speed, moving at over 500 miles per hour toward the land.

Divers and snorklers floated among the coral reefs and fishermen tended to their boats. Millions and millions of some of the poorest people on earth went about their business on a sunny Sunday morning, some only a hundred or two miles away from the earthquake, others over three thousand miles away.

And the sea found all those people, wherever they lived, it chased them and it killed many of them.

Along the resorts of Thailand rich and poor floated face down in the surf while throughout the rest of southeast Asia and India and Africa, those who can afford it the least, lost all that they have.

Nature it seems, lost their luggage.

Former Thai Commerce and deputy Agriculture minister was killed in his resort home as the flood waters washed his 3 year old grandson away.

Thai royal, Bhumi Jensen, grandson to the king, was killed when the wave overpowered his jet ski.

Nature, it also seems, did not discriminate at the water's edge.

It is estimated that over a million people are homeless tonight in Indonesia, and another million people are homeless on the island of Shri Lanka.

For many of them, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters were washed out to sea, some of whom will float up on the beaches in the coming days, others will never be found.

It is now being estimated that from a thrid to one half of all the dead are children.

(Image from REUTERS)

So far, over Twenty four thousand (Red Cross Estimate) are dead, and over two million people have been cast out into the night.

(Image from World News)

I wonder if getting some luggage full of Christmas trinkets would make them feel better tonight.

(Image from BBC News)

*Edit - The death toll keeps climbing, something like a thousand people an hour, a staggering loss of life, especially when you consider that this disaster came without warning.