…And I hate what happened in my home away from home yesterday.
In case you’ve been living under a rock or lack access to modern media formats, two explosive devices detonated at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring some 200 others. This hits particularly close to home for me, even more so than the Sandy Hook shootings which occurred no more than 25 miles from many of my relatives’ houses.
See, I used to go to the Marathon every year. I used to get as close to the finish line as possible. I know that Marathon Sports in front of which the first device exploded. I’ve watched the marathon from that exact spot, I’ve walked that corridor hundreds of times, Marathon Day or any other day. If I still lived in Boston, there’d have been a good chance that my wife, son, and I would have been there. And knowing me, we’d have been very near the finish line because there’s nothing cooler than screaming out encouragement to hundreds of completely insane strangers who have just completed one of the craziest of physical feats (Seriously, 26.2 miles? I’d be dead after 6).
The three dead and 200 injured luckily didn’t include anyone I know. I have plenty of friends still in Boston, and through whatever higher power, none of them were there. The runners I know either finished before the blasts or weren’t allowed near the site after the blasts. For me, everything worked out. For some other families, everything went wrong.
What kind of cowardice would drive someone to blow up hundreds of people who are wildly cheering on and encouraging thousands of perfect strangers to push just a little harder and cross that finish line? Who would think that blowing up IEDs at a Marathon would send any kind of message other than the fact that the perpetrator is a sub-human psychopath with no regard for the collective community and mass showing of good will that is a Marathon’s cheering section? Seriously, what the f*ck?
I’m too mad and too heartbroken to try to place blame, but I do know that the 24-hour news culture has something to do with it. Just like Aurora, CO, Sandy Hook, CT, the VA Tech shootings, the DC snipers, and even Columbine, this incident will be the center of the media universe until the next big tragedy comes along (or worse, until we are desensitized enough that we don’t care anymore). If it wasn’t an international or domestic terror group trying to “make a point” (And what point would that be? Running 26 miles sucks and is really hard?) or trying to chip away a little more at our sense of security and freedom, and it was some disgruntled individual or individuals, don’t you think that maybe the media coverage they are getting could have in some way influenced their decision to carry out this horrific act of senseless violence?
But here’s the thing: this event didn’t scare us. Bostonians are tough bastards, and rather than tuck their tails and run and hide, hundreds of first responders and spectators rushed TOWARDS the explosions and helped to care for the wounded, helped to provide access to the ambulances by tearing down the fences and barriers and clearing the debris without regard for the potential of other blasts. Doctors and nurses who had JUST RUN 26.2 MILES ran straight to the medical tents and began triage and treatment of the wounded. No water, no rest, no nothing. Just instinct, adrenaline, and good will.
So f*ck you, whoever did this. I hope you’re caught, prosecuted, and never again see the light of day. And guess what, YOU DIDN’T WIN. We won. Boston won. The American People won. While we lost lives and limbs, we showed the world that there still is hope for humanity and American society. We banded together and helped our fellow man, woman, and child. Just like we do every time something this horrific happens.
I’ve never been prouder of Boston.