On April 15th, I had the TV on when the news broke of the Boston Marathon bombing. My husband and I immediately turned to each other and bet on who was responsible.
I did not get sucked into the pain and suffering because after living through it, I don’t want to go to that place. That was until my friend called me and needed counseling because his son was at the marathon. He finished the race at 3:10. He was okay, but for many hours, he did not know. He did not know his son’s finish time, and he did not know anything. I remember that feeling, and I could relate to him. Sometimes it just helps when we can relate to someone who knows how we are feeling.
I knew immediately that it was a terrorist attack. Whoever did it, whether it is a homegrown psychopath or a foreign extremist, the carnage and fear produces the same results for us survivors. Experiencing the horror and destruction and feeling the cold breath of evil on the back of your neck is the same. Unfortunately, this is our common bond.
I accepted that this is the world that we live in. I like to travel internationally, and the threat is real every day. I don’t think that it is entirely preventable, and if a sick man or extremist wants to cause harm, it is possible.
Then I thought of London, Israel, Afghanistan, and other folks like me that are forced to live with the carnage, destruction, and fear that is permanently burned on our souls. If this is the world we live in, how do we as Americans differ from the rest of the world who also experiences things like this?
That answer came to me tonight as I watched the impromptu parade for the Boston Police Department and FBI after they captured the second suspect. We are stronger for it. Watching the citizens of Watertown, Mass. cheer the law enforcement and first responders brought a stream to tears to my eyes. This is who we are, and this response is how the terrorists’ act defines us. We are united, and we are strong. God bless our law enforcement and military.
Photo from nbcnews.com of people of Boston celebrating in the streets.