A tragedy, an accident, and a great loss
George W. Bush is visiting a primary school and he visits one of the classes. They are in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings. The teacher asks the President if he would like to lead the discussion of the word "tragedy."
So the illustrious leader asks the class for an example of a tragedy. One little boy stands up and offers: "If my best friend who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a runaway tractor comes along and knocks him dead, that would be a tragedy."
"No," says President Bush, "that would be an accident."
A little girl raises her hand: "If a school bus carrying 50 children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy."
"I'm afraid not," explains the exalted leader. "That's what we would call a great loss."
The room goes silent. No other children volunteer. President Bush searches the room. "Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?"
Finally at the back of the room, little Johnny raises his hand. In a quiet voice he says: "If Air Force One carrying you was struck by a missile and blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy."
"Fantastic!" exclaims President Bush, "That's right. And can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?"
"Well," says the boy, "because it sure as heck wouldn't be a great loss and it probably wouldn't be an accident either."