Thursday, August 2, 2007

Tragedy unfolds

We watched again this week as tragedy unfolded, this time in Minneapolis with the collapsing of a major interstate bridge into the Mighty Mississippi River. Unimaginable, we said again through disbelief and shock. Images of 9/11, Katrina, London bombings and plane crashes came boiling back up.

A former coworker who's gone on to law school in the area was an immediate thought, outside of the hundreds who found themselves on that scene at the height of rush hour. She has a blog, and in checking I learned all was OK from her. She, too, was watching the event unfold. A new blog hit a point today:

"It reminded me of 9/11, actually, of the sense of disbelief we all felt while watching the images of planes smashing into skyscrapers over and over again. And like 9/11, I felt the urge to be out reporting. Watching these tragedies unfold on television makes me feel so helpless, and reporting has for years been the way I've felt as though I could contribute something to a community dealing with a tragedy. Instead, this time I had to content myself with watching and reading other people's reporting, and praying for the lives of so many who've been affected by disaster."

Right on. We're a strange breed, us journalists. Normal people look at us strangely when we do these things and run off to cover the news - like running off to chase a tornado that came within a stone's through of your newly built house. But that's who were are. Maybe that is why we do it, as my blogger friend Abby wrote - "Watching these tragedies unfold on television makes me feel so helpless, and reporting has for years been the way I've felt as though I could contribute something to a community dealing with a tragedy." I like that. Think I can live with that for rationale.