29 Years Up River

I’m reading a book right now that involves a leader who played an important role in two community tragedies, 29 years apart. In the first instance–we’ll call that Event A–he has the potential to do the right thing and then turns away to do the wrong thing. In choosing the wrong path people died needlessly; a different choice on his part and there was a chance they or some of them would have lived. 29 years later is a second situation where people’s lives are threatened–we’ll call that Event C. This time, he wavers, does the right thing for a while, stops pursuing it in the face of opposition, picks the right thing back up again, stops again, and so on. Once more, people died, some of whom would have lived had he just done the right thing first, second, and all the way through.

Here’s my question and point to you. What kind of event leaves a memory that affects a person 29 years later? What kind of person–or leader–ignores that memory? What kind of person/leader embraces it?