Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ruminations on Yet Another Tragedy

Yesterday's events were...were...well, pick your adjective. Awful. Horrific. Terrifying. Tragic.


Frustrating because they happen so often. Domestic or international, terrorism is a now a part of the fabric of our country. Like it or not.

For those not close to the world of runners, for whom the Boston Marathon is just another marathon, let me reassure you it is not. The marathon takes place on Patriot's Day, a holiday which celebrates the start of the American Revolution.

Businesses in Massachusetts are closed on Patriot's Day, with the exception of the hospitality industry, which enjoys one of its busiest and most profitable weekends of the year. There is always a Red Sox home game on this day. And for the last 117 years, there is always a Boston Marathon.

Bombing the finish line of the Boston marathon is like bombing Disney World. It is an icon of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. It is a mystical place, its blue paint an everlasting mark in the city every day of the year.

As with the Sandy Hook tragedy, I did not turn on the TV. I did not watch coverage. And after ensuring the safety of everyone we knew who was out there via a Facebook page, eventually I logged off of social media. Because people's reactions were...were...well, pick your adjective. Ridiculous. Attention seeking. Annoying.

The events of the afternoon were still unfolding when I saw the first graphic pop up, showing the Boston Athletic Association's logo and a "we will never forget" tagline slung onto it.

We will never forget? We don't even know what we'll never forget yet, what are you talking about?

And then a candle. A skyline of Boston. All with words of sympathy and hope and "we will endure."

WHAT will we endure? We don't even know what's happening! This isn't a year after this event, it's CURRENTLY HAPPENING. Knock that shit off.

Let's get to what we know first, which is very little. Less than 24 hours later we now know that there were 2 bombs. Not four. Not seven. Two. They both detonated within a minute of each other two blocks from the other bomb's location, very close to the finish line. Early reports are that they were sophisticated in nature, and meant to create maximum human damage. Two people are dead and more than 140 injured. Federal, state and local investigators are actively pursuing this investigation and working together to find the perpetrators.

That's all we know.

Yes, it is tragic. Our family was there in Boston last year and our oldest was 8 at the time, the same age as the little boy who was killed. I feel for the families affected by this, and am terribly sorry that it happened. Let's not minimize their pain by creating graphics that go viral on social media before we have a grasp of the events of the day.

What touched my heart was the number of people who reached out to me throughout the day, either by text, phone, email, or stopping at my door, to ask if I knew people there. They know I'm plugged into the running community, even if I'm not a so-called runner, and I was so grateful for their personal inquiries as to the well-being of my family and friends. THAT meant more to me than any graphic. Thank you. You know who you are.

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