In 2001 I was the Executive Officer of the Victorian Basketball League and at the end of each season our Champion and Runner-up in both men and women came together with the winners of other Leagues to compete in the Australian Basketball Championships to determine who was the best team in the country. It was September and on the Tuesday prior to the weekend of the Championships the date was one that would go down as one of the most infamous in history, September 11. That same week Ansett Airlines here in Australia collapsed and that meant that the teams could not get to Bendigo in regional Victoria to compete.
The Championships were cancelled that year and there was a major hue and cry from many people about what a tragedy it was. I wrote an article for the VBL website that week and said in part that there were thousands of people who would go to bed that night never seeing their mother, father, son, daughter, husband and wife again. I told people to get a grip and understand what true tragedy was and it wasn't about the cancellation of basketball games.
In the past couple of days we've seen another airline, Qantas shut down for a few days and the ranting and raving of people stranded around the world and unable to get home. There was a photo of a bloke in the Sunday Herald Sun who refused to give his name but who was displaying such anger and hatred in his expression that it looked as if he could have gotten hold of Qantas CEO Alan Joyce that he would have ripped his throat out.
And at the same time that the Qantas Board made the decision to ground the airline on Saturday there were a company of Australian soldiers in Afghanistan who were being slaughtered by an Afghan soldier they had mentored. Three brave young Australians and an Afghan interpreter were killed and seven other Australians injured. This act had it's genesis on that same day more than ten years ago and it sickens me that I sit here now having to write the same thing that I did back then.
I don't give a stuff about an airline going bust or being grounded. It's an inconvenience for all those people delayed. The sun will come up tomorrow and other planes will fly. But again we have young wives who won't see their husbands, children without fathers, Mums and Dads who will wake to nightmare again tomorrow and the day after and the day after that.
Get some perspective people. Understand what really matters. RIP guys may you never be forgotten.