I haven’t written a blog in over 6 months. Even longer that one was posted here. What started off as a great day turned horribly tragic. It is Patriot’s Day in Boston and that means an early Red Sox game and the running of the Boston Marathon. The Sox pulled out a close win which as a Yankee fan I’m indifferent to and Kenya and Ethiopia one again proved dominant in distance racing. Around 3pm my old high school coach texted me that there had been explosions at the marathon finish line. I had to read it a few times to really grasp what he was saying. I then had to ask myself was he ribbing me? Because in my mind there is no way anything like that could ever happen at a race. As I turned to CNN and Heavy.com my worst fears were confirmed.
I was not prepared for the graphic nature of the pictures and video that were shown online. I personally grapple with the decision of some news networks to post them but while I found a lot of it to maybe be too much for viewers, especially children, I understand the climate of news media today where there is a need to publish everything and scoop everyone else. What I saw, read and heard was terrible. The kind of thing that makes everything else in life seem insignificant. A marathon represents the greatest pf mankind. It shows people of all creeds, colors and backgrounds running together fighting for the same goal: to run 26.2 miles. It is a pure and innocent event that showcases the very best of people. From runners who worked so hard to train for it to the friends, family and just spectators who line the course to cheer them on to all the volunteers who make it possible it really is such a great event. And to have it marred by what happened today is just tragic.
I just cannot understand the hatred in the hearts of some people that they could do something like this. It’s something I will never understand I guess because to do what someone did today is the mark of a truly despicable and disturbed human being. I can understand someone not liking a political party, a government, a city, a country, a politician, etc. but what does a marathon have to do with any of that? What did bombing the Boston Marathon have to do with anything today? There were over 27,000 runners and thousands more watching who were innocent bystanders. They did nothing wrong today. And yet now over 100 people are injured and some very seriously. Even worse 2 young children are confirmed among the dead. And for what? So someone could make a statement? So someone could show the world what a monster looks like? The only thing this person or persons showed is that they are a coward.
Some people will see all this and say look at the evil that exists in the world and how the world is going to hell in a hand basket. I counter that by saying I saw the good in the world today. I saw first responders, police and even race spectators and volunteers running towards the blast area to help those who were injured. I saw doctors, nurses and EMT’s tending to the injured and trying to get them to hospitals for medical attention. I saw law enforcement of all degrees descend upon Boston to try and maintain order and keep the public safe when it become clear there was much more carnage planned. And I saw an outpouring of support amongst not just the running community but the entire social community as well.
I’ve crossed over a hundred finish lines in my life. I’m running the NYC marathon this November. I would never think to be afraid of garbage cans or bags that might contain explosives. Now every time I finish a race it will always be there in the back of my mind. Much the same way when you see a heavy police presence in the NYC subway system, the K-9 units, police armed with M4′s it reminds you that even over 11 years later what happened that fateful day in 2001.
I’m born and raised in NYC. I can tell you where I was and what I was doing the day the Twin Towers fell. It’s something you never forget and sadly today will go down as one of those days where everyone will tell you years later where they were too. The problem is that terrorism isn’t a country or regime you can topple. It’s purpose is to strike fear into the hearts of people. To make them afraid to go outside and to live their lives freely. I remember 9/11/11 vividly but I also remember 9/13/11 as well. I remember being 17 years old and watching a city rise back up. I remember a nation standing united. I remember people refusing to live in fear and maybe it didn’t happen all at once but as each new day dawned we got back to life as we knew it as best we could. Because the only way the terrorists win is if we give up. If we live in constant fear then all hope is lost. But if we stand together and prop each other up, if we extend a hand to one another when one of us falls, if we refuse to let fear rule our lives then they will never win.