now that’s a tragedy

30Dec04

today i couldn’t stop thinking about one thing. death tolls. death tolls and people’s reactions to large scale tragedies. in light of the unbelievable death toll from the earthquake / tsunami in southeast asia and india, i can’t help but think about how people are reacting about this compared to what happened at 9/11. since it’s the tragedy must current in americans’ minds i thought a little comparison could put things in perspective. now i know everyone out there is gonna be pissed and offended and sick that i could put the two in the same sentence but that’s exactly my point.

disclaimer: i absolutely believe that 9/11 was an awful loss of life. it was also one of the largest coordinated terrorist attacks and certainly the largest in the US.

on 9/11 4 planes, 2 towers, and 1 wing of the pentagon later, only about 3000 people died (the official death toll is just about 2800, i’m rounding up for safety). in about the same amount of time, mother nature wiped out easily 80,000 people, not counting the people who will soon die from the onset of horrible diseases caused by the destruction of drinking water supplies and sewage equipment.

at first i thought that americans were being rather insensitive to the huge loss of life, in part thanks to our presidents lukewarm response, and in part because i saw little reference to it outside the blogosphere. i mean i’m just as guilty. i haven’t said a word. when my pal bobby, who’s living in thailand imed me a few hours later, i didn’t even know it had hit north of indonesia, i didn’t realize people he knew were affected (but are all ok).

Applebut now the outpouring of a need to help breaks my heart. i remember brian telling me that hours after 9/11 his boyfriend at the time, who’s a cop, was in a car hours later on his way to nyc to help out anyway he could. now people not just in southeast asia, but all over the world want to do anything and everything they can to help out. even big companies are trying to do their part. check out apple.com today in the pic. i mean holy crap. the sad part is most people don’t have any of the skills needed to help with the recovery. however if you have any construction or utility skills and some time and money, i’m sure your efforts would be welcomed. for those of us with little to offer besides our sympathy, there are many excellent choices for donations. tsunami help is tracking all the charities as well as up to the date news. my own personal favorites are architecture for humanity and medecins sans frontieres (aka doctors without borders)

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