Monday, August 4, 2008

145 pilgrims die in shrine stampede

As I sat in the Waffle House this morning drinking my coffee and reading the newspaper, I happened to glance at an item released by the Associated Press informing me that:

“... Pilgrims stampeded at a mountaintop Hindu temple in northern India on Sunday, and at least 145 people were killed in a crush that sent worshippers plummeting to their deaths over a broken railing.”

It broke my heart. After all the centuries of collaboration, teamwork and sheer bonhomie between Pilgrims and Indians, that this should happen in our day and age is appalling and shameful.

Indians are cool. Ever since that first Indian stuffed old Tom Turkey and his squaw made the New World’s first Jell-O mold, no Indian has let a Pilgrim come to harm. And every American since has been thankful for that. That’s history. Look it up.

So, how could the Indians drop the ball so disastrously as to let over a hundred Pilgrims plunge to a ghastly death simply because no one saw fit to run to Home Depot and pick up a hammer and a couple of ten-penny nails? Not Do-It-Yourselfers, I guess.

When next Thanksgiving rolls around, things won’t be the same for me. The sweet potatoes just won’t taste so sweet and Macy’s balloons just won’t fly so high. I’m going to say an extra little prayer for those Pilgrims, and I think every Indian should ask himself, "Where did I go wrong?"

We’ve always been the best of friends, we and the Indians. But this time you let us down, Squanto. How can we ever trust you again?

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