Monday, April 20, 2009

A Sad Anniversary

Those of you the three readers of this blog may or may not remember that April 19th (yesterday) was the anniversary of the Oklahoma city bombing.

I was at home when it happened. I had come off a night shift at the current crappy job I was working, and I was sound asleep when it happened. I was deeply contemplating quitting said crappy job. Too many night shifts in horrible working conditions, with low pay and no benefits.

So, when I woke up, I turned on my TV. I saw what had happened. I watched, stunned, as did most of the rest of the nation, and a large portion of the world.

Over the next few days, I saw in the coverage the picture of fireman Chris Fields carrying the body of Baylee Almon from the wreckage. The man's face is shrouded in shadow and we cannot see the expression on his face clearly, but I cannot begin to imagine what he must have been thinking as he carried that tiny, burned, bloodied, broken body from the wreckage. The photographer who took it won a Pulitzer Prize for it, and it has come to be the defining image of this tragedy.

And I remember thinking to myself that, no matter how crappy my job was, at least my job would never require me to do anything like carrying the body of a one year old dying toddler from the wreckage of a destroyed building.

It's things like that that can really give you a renewed sense of perspective.

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