I agree with Kate that some deaths are emblematic and take on that
quality for us. It is not that they are more real or terrible than all the other
deaths but that they are symbolic.  We need to enter into myth to deal
with them.

Date sent:              Mon, 3 Feb 2003 10:48:41 EST
Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   Kate Troy <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:                Re: In memoriam to space shuttle Columbia
To:                     [log in to unmask]

In a message dated 2/2/2003 11:33:29 PM Eastern Standard Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:

> Someone once said something like 10 deaths are a tragedy, 10,000 deaths
> a problem in public sanitation. The first part of this anyhow is
> illustrated every time some public figure dies. The second part is
> illustrated daily. The nameless remain nameless in death.

Of course it's true that nameless people die every day.  Cancer, floods,
famine, foolish accidents, etc.; yet, the tragedy of the Astronauts' fate
touch more people than even a movie star's tragic end because they were
Astronauts, i.e., intelligent, exciting and extremely brave people who
inspire kids and adults.  That they traveled on that far a journey and
then died 40 miles over Texas is difficult to accept.  I was working in
the garden when I heard the news.  As we are just now recovering from the
coldest January certainly in my Florida history, I had no roses to cut; I
was simply glad that the my rose bushes had survived several arctic nights
in which the temps fell into the 30's.  So, I cut seven wildflowers
instead and arranged them in a vase on the table.  And I thought then that
the wildflowers were more appropriate anyway, even if the roses had been