I first heard about the earthquake in China from a colleague in Beijing. He phoned to say that everyone in our office there is okay. But I’m still worried, thinking of a family member who travels to China regularly on business, not just to Beijing, but into the interior. I hope to hear soon that he’s safe at home, or safe in China.
As I wait for news, I’ve been surfing the net, looking for recent news articles on the quake. I was glad to see that Melissa Block and Robert Siegel from NPR were there by chance. Their story brought tears to my eyes, though, as they recounted the parents mourning their children outside the middle school. Earthquakes are terrible things.
The aftermath of 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake was a personal nightmare for me, seeing the devastated houses on my street, chasing off looters, and wishing that those infernal news helicopters would go away. It was like living in a war zone. I remember hearing the distant cries as a group of people kept vigil, and periodically shouted the name of someone trapped in the rubble of a bookstore blocks away. She was later found dead, likely killed in the initial shock. It was horrible. My heart goes out to the people in China. It will be a long time before their lives, their cities and towns, return to normal.
While surfing for earthquake news, I did find one article, not about China, but about the election, that struck a more hopeful chord. A blogger lauded John McCain, including a recent video of McCain asserting that the U.S. should follow the Geneva convention, and not torture its prisoners. This was uplifting news for me. Living in a democracy, I know that my preferred candidates aren’t always the winners. I would prefer Obama to be our next president, but if the Republicans prevail in November, I can rest a little easier knowing that McCain has taken this stand on the issue of torture.
In a day filled with tragic news, it’s nice to find a little hope.