Sunday, 23 March 2014

"They should give up trying to find that plane,"

said the man waiting ahead of me at the library counter.
He was, fortunately, not talking to me but to someone else. The other man agreed.
"Yeah, waste of money. They aren't going to find. Just accept it's gone and get on with it. Improve their f........ security."
"I'd never fly anywhere - not any more - might have once when I was young and stupid but not now. It's not safe."
"You're right."
I bit my tongue. I did not look at them. I was very, very aware of two small children standing there. They were clutching their picture books and they were listening.
I wondered how much they understood. They probably have not been shielded from the news. At least the older of the two - he was probably about six - would understand enough to realise that a plane was lost and that there were people on board and that some other child his age was still waiting for "Daddy to come home". What if his own father has to fly somewhere?
I felt angry with those two men and I could see other people felt, at very least, uncomfortable. Nobody said anything. I think that was probably the right thing given the presence of small children. It was a case of "least said the better".
Finding the plane from the MH370 flight may not be possible. It may cost more than the actual plane is worth but you cannot quantify the value of the lives on board.
If they do manage to track it down somewhere deep in the ocean then it is unlikely they will be able to salvage any of it. They may never know what went wrong - but people will know where it is. That will give them at least partial relief from the agony of not knowing.
If they can find out what went wrong then they may be able to prevent the same series of events from occurring again. There is probably no way to prevent deliberate acts designed to harm. If there are other problems then I don't doubt people will work on them - just as they will work on procedures designed to prevent deliberate acts of harm.
And yes, it will all be very expensive. We will all end up paying for it. We are just fortunate we won't pay as much as the passengers and crew or their families.
But the two men in the library apparently care nothing about those things. They have almost certainly never experienced what must be the excruciating feeling of "not knowing" what has happened to someone.
"Missing, presumed dead" is one of the most cruel phrases there is.


Wendy said...

The men that stood before you in the queue were clearly an insult to the human race.

Of course they should keep looking.
Who cares what the plane costs. It's lives that matters after all ...

Helen Devries said...

These men are an example of the culture which has substituted money for heart

Judy Edmonds said...

There are at least two essential reasons for finding any crashed plane - (a) for the families and (b) to learn from the crash anything that might prevent a future one. Most of the improvements in air safety over the decades have come from studying crashed planes. What a waste of space those two men were!

jeanfromcornwall said...

I can't help thinking that those two men would have had a different attitude if the plane had been filled with mostly fat, white Australians, instead of mostly Chinese people. Or am I being hopelessly cynical?