No one who boarded the Metro late yesterday afternoon expected to wind up in an ambulance. Nobody humming along to iPod tunes while getting on board at Silver Spring expected to wind up sprawled on the tracks. Nine people certainly did not expect to die during their normally mundane commute.
We won’t know what really happened to cause the Red Line crash for many weeks. Too many online commentators are making wildly unfair, borderline grotesque statements about the causes and likely blame. Very sad.
What we do know is that life is terribly fragile. People board an Air France plane and disappear into the Atlantic. A security guard at the Holocaust Museum opens the door for an elderly man and is blown away. Commuters rushing home to dinner don’t make it. While once human beings may have heard of these tragedies sometime later, at a distance, perhaps passed along in stories or letters or those ancient broadsheets called newspapers, today we can contemplate the meaning of tragedy even while watching firefighters climbing through the wreckage.
Make this day count. That’s the best thought we can take from all of this sadness. We don’t know what tragedy might strike next, but living in fear and constant fretful anticipation is unproductive. Instead, let’s resolve to live each day as fully as possible.