Accidents Happen

A balloon lays on the street after it hit a light pole on Broadway during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2005.
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
I'm sure you heard about, or saw, the accident during this year's Thanksgiving Day parade. The ropes from the M and M balloon got entangled in a light pole and part of the fixture came crashing down on the crowd.

Hit were two sisters from Albany. Neither were hurt badly — stitches and bruises mostly — but in this day and age the headline in the story is what didn't happen next.

Mary and Sarah's dad, Stephen Chamberlain spoke to the press, and he wasn't shocked or horrified. He said, now get this, "Accidents happen." Even more impressive, Mr. Chamberlain said he wasn't going to sue the city or Macy's or anyone else.

Not going to sue? Why that's un-American. Isn't that what we're supposed to do? Cash in? Take advantage of the situation. Bleed those bumps and bruises for all their worth?

Frankly I find Mr. Chamberlain's attitude downright heroic and refreshing. Would you do the same?

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith