John Kerry visits a school classroom. They are in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings. The teacher asks Mr. Kerry if he would like to lead the discussion on the word "tragedy." So the illustrious Senator 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 tractor runs him over and kills him that would be a 'tragedy'." "No," says Kerry, "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 Mr. Kerry. "That's what we would call a 'great loss'.
The room goes silent. No other children volunteered. Kerry searches the room. "Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of a 'tragedy'?" Finally, at the back of the room a small boy raises his hand. In a quiet voice, he says: "If your campaign plane, carrying you, Mr. Kerry, were struck by a 'friendly fire' missile and blown to smithereens, that would be a 'tragedy'."
"Fantastic!" exclaims Kerry. "That's right. And can you tell me why that would be a 'tragedy'?" "Well," says the boy "because it certainly wouldn't be a 'great loss' and it probably wouldn't be an 'accident' either.