Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Reflection on the Boston Marathon

Yesterday, a very terrible thing happened in Boston.  Not only were two people killed, but many were injured.  Many of these injured were people who were, just minutes earlier, completing a 26 mile run.
As disturbing and sad as it is, events like this really make you appreciate those who step up in times of need. 

When I left work last night and got into my car, I heard the news of the bombs that went off in Boston.  My local NPR station was streaming the coverage by the Boston NPR affiliate. At that time, all they knew was that two people were dead and about one hundred injured. Soon a report rolled in that one of the people killed was an eight year old boy.  Next the station went "on the scene" to the near by hospitals. Reporters stated that it was still a bit chaotic, but they received word that many of the injuries were amputations.  

The marathon was still in progress when the bombs went off. People who trained for months in order to complete this 26 mile run were crossing the finish line. I've never completed a marathon, but even after I trained and ran my first 5k, I felt a tremendous amount of pride and accomplishment. A feeling I'm sure many of these people felt. Sure, they were tired, dehydrated and maybe had an ankle sprain, but they did it! Then, suddenly, none of that mattered anymore. They needed help.

And that's when the reports detailing the first responders started to come in. While most people were trying to get away as fast as they could, a sea of green vested police officers, EMTs and even doctors rushed directly into the bomb blast to help people. They tore down barricades like salmon swimming against the stream, even before they knew exactly what was going on.

So when I think about how sad it is that someone did this, I try to think about the good.  It's not fair that an eight year old's life was cut short yesterday, that another person was killed and many injured. It's sad that people who were, just moments before, completing an amazing athletic feat, may now be double amputees. In fact, thinking about this stuff makes me feel a whole range of emotions: sadness, rage, anger, defeat. But try to restore faith in the human race and remember all those people who didn't think about anything but running towards the disaster and helping anyone they could.

If you know one, thank a first responder today! Also give your little ones a hug and appreciate every moment you have with them!

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in Boston. It's one of my favorite cities to visit, and I know the people of Boston will get through this.

*Due to the graphic nature of most of the photos, I won't be posting any here. However, if you are interested, there is an excellent collection of shots at Boston.com's Big Picture Blog.

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