Our Views: A reminder of vital ties

One of the small silver linings in every tragedy is the extent to which it prompts all of us to appreciate what’s really important — friends and family.

We’ve seen that in the wake of any incident where lives are threatened, whether it be a terrorist attack, mass shooting, big storm or industrial accident.

All of this was brought to mind by two accidents at separate chemical plants in Ascension Parish this week that underscored the fragility of daily existence, something that few of us like to think about. Thursday’s explosion and fire at the Williams Olefins chemical plant in Geismar killed two people and injured dozens of others. A subsequent accident at CF Industries in Donaldsonville on Friday evening killed at least one person and injured several others, according to official reports available at press time.

The deaths and injuries from these accidents brought much grief, but also relief among the friends and loved ones of those who escaped unharmed.

The tearful reunions of plant workers and their family members continue to resonate with us, and those reconnections seemed all the sweeter because they came after so much anxious waiting. One of those fortunate reunions after the Williams Olefins accident involved 24-year-old Sarah Williams and her husband, Kevin Williams, who had been working at the Geismar plant when the explosion occurred.

Sarah gave Kevin a big hug when she found him unharmed among the survivors. This week’s events made many of us remember the importance of our own loved ones.

Let’s hope than none of us needs another tragedy to appreciate the value of the ties that bind.