Wednesday, Spetember 26, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 25


Life shouldn't be taken for granted

Kristin Buchanan

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, many are still in mourning. The destruction of Sept. 11 left behind bereaved family members of many
casualties. There are thousands of orphans from one-parent homes too young to understand where their parents are, too young to even
understand death.

What happened on that day is tragic. Most of us who weren't directly affected have already acknowledged that and gone on with our lives,
knowing that America isn't as secure and safe as we'd like to think it is.

The true tragedy, however, is that as we returned to our daily routines, many of us failed to learn an invaluable lesson: Life, and the relationships
we are all blessed with, should never be taken for granted.

There is no telling how many more will give their lives in the coming war. None of us have any certainty that, even if we do see tomorrow, our
lives as we know them will continue as they are today.

Many people, including myself, aren't completely convinced that another attack isn't about to be launched. No matter how close to normalcy
we've returned, a degree of paranoia still plagues people's minds.

There is no way to know if the people around us right now will still be here tomorrow. This could be the last time you see the person sitting on
your right or your left. Death has a way of sneaking up on people.

Last spring, relatives I hadn't seen in years passed away before I could say goodbye. One was my favorite uncle; the other was my
great-grandma. She was my best friend when I was 10 -- we lived in a small town and there were no girls my age living nearby.

Eventually we moved away, and the last time I visited her was when I was in high school. During that visit, she asked if I would sing for her. I
hated performing, and even the pleading look in her eyes couldn't make me change my mind. I refused, and later decided I might sing for her the
next time I would see her.

I always took it for granted that she would be there when I returned. I wasn't even prepared for her death.

In an impending wartime, it's important to realize the frailty of life. If the people who lost their loved ones that morning knew that they would never
see their husbands, wives, fathers or mothers again, they might have taken advantage of that last opportunity to say goodbye.

It's important to remember to live each day as if it were the last. There's no better time than the present to try new things, explore new places and
meet new people.

But most importantly, don't underestimate the value of a good relationship.

There's nothing more regrettable than learning of someone's death before you had the chance to show that person you care.

Buchanan, a senior communication
major, can be reached at

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