I’ve had a lot going on with me since the bombing at the Boston Marathon. I’ve wanted to use my own words, post my own thoughts, but I guess I needed to take some time, grieve, and absorb all the influx of media attention and other people’s sentiments.
I’m from near Boston. I lived in Boston. I go into the city regularly. I have friends there and people I know. Boston’s my home. That said, the incident felt to me like it was an attack upon my neighbors and friends, in my own back yard. My heart pained when I imagined the horror these people went through, especially the terror the children experienced. For those that don’t know I have worked as a counselor for all ages, including children, so I know what the psychological repercussions can be.
I felt like the marathon, which took place on Patriot’s Day, differed from other events, such as New Year’s, 4th of July, or even St. Patrick’s Day, in terms of the type of event someone might want to target. The Boston Marathon, as other international marathons are, is an event when (I’m making up this statistic) half the people in attendance as either spectators or runners probably dreamed of the moment for much of their lives. The Boston Marathon is a day when dreams usually come true, globally, in the little town of Boston. That’s a devastating truth, again I’m not sure of the numbers, but it could be even more than half. The bombs were intended to go off at the finish line when there would be the most injuries and fatalities. When I type that it makes me sick.
I’ve been walking around in a fog these days, up and down, traumatized even though I wasn’t actually there. Yesterday, however, it began to change a little for me. I didn’t look at photographs, or video footage. I’ve only seen the one when the bombs initially went off. That one is amazing to watch because you see more people, not just police and security, running towards the explosion rather than away from it. In those few seconds of film, there’s an instant response to go help. I think that’s beautiful. I keep hearing about heroism and I believe it. The Boston residents have opened up their homes to strangers. People flooded in to donate blood. The offer of international support has been profound. Some victims have awoken without limbs and say they feel so lucky that they are alive. They’re just happy to be alive.
And the New York Yankees played “Sweet Caroline” at their game, with Yankees fans singing along, some even wearing Red Sox t-shirts and caps! A banner at Yankee stadium said “United We Stand” with the logos of the Yankees and the Red Sox on either side.
That is amazing, truly an amazing example of how as a country we can pull together, despite our differences, and help each other. All these beautiful things that have come about only prove that, as a country, and even as a world, we don’t need to be broken, we don’t have to let violence destroy us, we have the power and ability to unite. We don’t even have to like each other, all it takes is respect. We can do it. It comes down to the choices to make it happen.
Considering what I’ve gone through emotionally since the bombing, I can only imagine what it was like for the people who were there. I hope everyone will receive the physical and emotional support that they need. I hope they will be able to move on from this without fear. I hope the children won’t be afraid of the world, and will be cared for with kindness and patience. I hope all the heroes and people who helped and are still helping will be rewarded. I want everyone outside of Massachusetts to know how much the support and camaraderie is appreciated. Lastly, my condolences go out to the family and friends of those who died. I’m so sorry for your losses.