Boston and the World Rise Above Terrorism

boston-marathon-bombingTraditionally, the third Monday of April is called Patriot’s Day in New England.  It is a right of spring in this part of the country.  The spring thaw, though not yet completed, is well underway.  The chirps and calls from endless varieties of birds fill the soundscape of the early morning and as people begin their day, they know this day will be a little warmer than yesterday.  Baseball season has begun and people are filled with reasons for new optimism.

Patriot’s Day means the running of the Boston Marathon.  Another annual footfest of self-discipline and endurance, of challenging one’s self and fighting a physical and emotional battle from within.  It means there are goals to be reached and obstacles to be overcome.  It has the three elements of every good story; man versus man, man versus nature, and man versus himself.

The Boston Marathon also means family, community, and inspiration.  It is the culmination of training and desire, and months of support from family, friends, co-workers and neighbors.  Thousands of the people who line the Marathon route and gather at the finish line are those who have encouraged these runners.  These are the people who have kept raising the bar for them, kept pushing them, motivating and encouraging them.  And at the end, the ultimate hug, kiss, and congratulations from those who have just as much stake in the race as the runners do.

Last Monday began as a beautiful, picture-perfect backdrop for the 117th running of the Boston Marathon.  As usual, the Red Sox were playing their traditional home 11am-start game, timed so when the game ends, fans there can try to get to the finish line to watch as runners cross.  The Sox won in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the 9th inning.  Fenway parked emptied, the streets and bars filled as the bulk of the runners were approaching the Marathon’s finish line, not very far from Fenway Park.

It was about 2:50 on that beautiful afternoon in the city of Boston.  Then without warning, the sun disappeared from the sky.  There was no benefit of a dusk or a twilight to signal the sun was going away for the day.  No damp, chilled grass, no cooling temperature.

Just two forceful blasts at the Marathon’s finish line.  Smoke, then fire, broken glass, screaming, panic and horrific injuries you’d expect to see on a battlefield.  People covered in the blood of one another, body parts and limbs scattered about on the street and sidewalk.

And as we have come to learn these recent days passed, bystanders running toward the chaos, not away from it.  People putting others in front of their own safety to lend a hand, tie a tourniquet, and to hold the hand of a victim to comfort and reassure.

Selfless Heroes.

First responders.



My point of this post is not to impose questions as to why someone or some organization would do such a thing on such a special, wonderful day (or any other day, for that matter).  My intent is not to examine what is wrong with the world we live in today.  It’s not my goal to examine political motivations, alliances, or policy.

I think most of us know the world is a complicated place now.  It’s different from the memories we have of when we were children.  You can’t make sense of it because when you think you have made sense of it, your expectations are altered by some new event on any given day that extends beyond reality.

On this special spring day in Boston, Monday, April 15th 2013, we witnessed spontaneous bravery.  We saw the good side of the human condition.  We saw the inherently good qualities of all of us when they matter the most.  We saw people reaching out and helping people when there was nothing binding between one soul and another except for the basic instinct of the human family.

It was extremely sad to watch the events unfold, but profoundly heartening to see what one person can do for another under the most adverse of conditions.

Yes, bombs went off in Boston that day.  But again, citizens showed that caring supercedes hatred.  Helping undermines destruction.  Being strong sacrifices those who are weak enough to challenge the contempt of terror.

On that day there were many people of many nationalities at that marathon finish line.

There were no boundaries of state.  There were no allegences.  Only people caring about people.  And in the end, that outweighes the threat of terror.  That trumps the hate card and that reshuffles the deck.

And now we deal the cards again.

Leave a comment


  1. Nicole Jacobs

     /  April 17, 2013

    Kdawg, let us also not forget that this reminds us how fragile life can be. I hugged my husband and children a little tighter knowing that I do not have control to keep them safe all the time. The little boy that died was the same age as Rocky and I can not imagine what his parents are going through. Nicole

    • That goes without saying, I think. What we have now is the current and future generations learning that lesson at an early age. You can’t take life and the time we have here for granted – we see it taken from us every day under circumstances that are a reflection of the world around us as it is today. Kids today are exposed often to the cruelty and inhumane actions of cowards. They can’t avoid it because of the media, the Internet, etc. I find it to be quite sad that it’s become a way of life, these constant tragedies, and all in the name of what? I can’t put myself in the place of the parents of the victims but I can imagine it can only be heartbreaking, gut-wrenching and the most intense sadness anyone could possibly feel. That’s why I chose to focus on the good side of this tragedy. There is already enough bad to go around. And speaking of good, over $7 million dollars has already been donated to the Boston One Fund, a charity that was set up for the victims and their families by Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino. The down side of that is it prompted warnings from the State Attorney General to be on the lookout for charity scams related to the bombing.

      As always, thanks for commenting and reading!

  1. Boston Teaches Us a New Kind of Math | Unknown Quantity

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