William H. Badger. Feb 4, 1929 – December 23, 2004.
Eighteen years without you is a long time. And no time.
You should have had more time.
Sometimes it feels like we’ve made no progress at all. And sometimes I know we’ve at least stopped some of the unsafe propositions, maybe even made a few inroads toward safety.
You should have had more time, and we can’t fix that for you or any of the thousands of families trying to move forward with their own grief. Their own new normal. I hate that term.
Eighteen years ago this morning. Last night, laying sleeplessly in bed, I imagined you getting up so very early in the dark morning, making sure the heat was turned down, the water turned off, and the doors locked, putting your suitcase into the trunk of your car and heading toward the airport.
You never got there. You never got to come home.
It’s not right, not for you or for us. Not for the 5,000 plus families that faced similar facts in 2021, or the as yet unnumbered thousands from 2022. And the hundreds of thousands of injured every single year.
We have to keep working, even though we’re all tired.
Because you all should have had more time.