Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon Tragedy

When news broke out on Monday morning (here on the West coast) about two bombs going off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, things in my apartment froze. The finish line of the marathon?? I've been there countless times - mostly as a pedestrian in Boston (the finish line is painted onto the road year-round) but occasionally as a marathon spectator. It's a busy place to be, even on a regular day of the year. But on Marathon Monday?? Two bombs??

Instantly I thought of how many people must have been impacted/injured. I imagined the grandstand, crowds, kids, gifted athletes from all over the world, countless volunteers.

And I especially thought of my friends in Boston - any number of whom had the day off from work for Patriot's Day, and any number of whom could very well be watching the marathon from that very area. Boston is a small city... choosing to watch the race from the finish line is certainly not an uncommon move for someone to make. I spent the next several hours calling and texting different friends and waiting anxiously to hear back from them all.

Luckily by 3:30pm PST I had just about everyone accounted for, but it was nerve-wracking for a while there - especially right at the beginning when I couldn't even figure out how to use my phone for a full minute because I was so shocked.

I don't quite know what to say about it all, but I can't not acknowledge that it happened. In fact, it happens all too often in the States - only this time it's in a place that hits quite close to home for me. This time I was one of the people frantically calling and texting friends to make sure they were alright. This time it was Boston that was all over the news with the same scary video footage being shown on repeat all day long and wild speculations being made to try to come up with answers to so many questions - How many hurt? How many killed? How many bombs were there really? Was someone on security footage really seen dumping a backpack into a garbage can? Was there really a bomb under the grandstand that didn't go off? Was what happened at the JFK Library in Dorchester related??

It's disgusting and sad that we're all actually becoming accustomed to not trusting the first news reports that come out, because we know - from things just like this happening over and over again - that the initial reports are often erroneous. We are all becoming used to knowing how to react to situations like this. Is America becoming one of those places in the world where things like this happen often?

Some days it's truly overwhelming to think about how cruel, selfish and destructive human beings can be. But try not to become overwhelmed by the bad. Try to think about the selfless people who ran towards the blast zones immediately after the bombs went off, to help however they could. Think of the outpouring of love from all over the world and those who are already donating money and blood to recovery efforts.

I love you Boston - you're at the forefront of my mind and you seem terribly far away right now.

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