Boston Marathon


What a week it has been in our country. I imagine many of you, like myself, have been a bit mesmerized by the news on television this week as we watched some very horrible things unfold. It began with the bombings during the Boston Marathon.

The devastation that was shown on television as we watched people being carried to the hospital was hard to watch. My heart broke for those families and friends who were losing loved ones. It’s hard to understand why anyone would want to create such destruction and harm innocent people.

It was heartbreaking to read stories of the loss of life, the loss of limbs and injuries. I cannot even begin to imagine what the families were going through as they attempted to find their loved ones, not knowing what kind of news they would receive once they were located.

West Texas

The next thing the week brought us was a story from West, Texas, where a fertilizer plan had an explosion. A small town, and so many people’s lives impacted by the fires and destruction. I found myself watching and worrying about the ability of a small town to handle such a huge event. I’ve lived in small towns before and they often don’t have the resources that a big city has available to them. I worried about the residents in a nursing home having to be evacuated. My grandmother was in a nursing home before she passed away and moves can be so disorienting to older folks.

You couldn’t help but be incredibly sad for the loss of lives and homes. Listening to interviews from mothers who drove quickly to their children’s homes, only to find it leveled and not knowing if their family had survived was emotionally taxing. Hearing of the loss of lives of firefighters who were there to do a job of protecting others and now won’t be going home to their own families was so hard. The words “a war zone” were repeated over and over as we listened to the stories.

Boston Marathon Bombing

As I went to bed on Thursday evening, I saw a post on social media saying there was a man with a gun on the MIT campus. My mind said “what next?!” By around 2:00, I happened to wake up and the news was on. That’s when I learned of the chase and hunt for the two suspects in Boston.

For a full 24 hours, we all watched as this manhunt took place. People were told to stay in their houses and lock their doors. One suspect ended up dead in the chase, and the second was on the run for quite some time. As I watched the press conferences, I felt for those first responders. You could see they were exhausted, and yet determined to finish the job and find the second person.

It must be a difficult thing for those in law enforcement to deal with. They are committed to protection, and to saving lives. Yet in doing that, in this instance, they were attempting to find a resolution for this last person that did not end in death even knowing that he was involved in the death of so many other people, including some of their own.

Heroes Abound

At around 8:00 my time last night, glued to the television as we heard the suspect had been located, I watched as we heard the words “The suspect is in custody.” Indeed, they did it. The man was arrested, and is alive. As the first responders left that neighborhood, the sight was amazing. People lining the streets, applauding and cheering. What a tribute to those heroes who risked their own lives to assure the safety of others.

I believe in times like this, we are impacted so much by what we see. This morning I heard a program that said watching things like this on television can give us the same impact as if we were there. It’s easy to feel devastated and get stuck in that mode. However, as I really look around at the events of the week, while I see tragedy, I also see heroes. That should be our focus!

During the Boston Marathon bombings, we saw people helping people. Nobody cared who they were, they just helped. The Afghanistan veteran who helped others around him and provided comfort. The man with the cowboy hat who picked up an injured person and got them to medical help. Ordinary every day people performing heroic acts that will be remembered forever by those they helped.

In Texas, there was more of the same. One man heard the explosion and, knowing there would be injured and people might need help, he drove to the area. He offered his knowledge of first aid as well as his truck for transport and took people to the hospital. Citizens simply did what came natural and jumped in to help others.

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. – Khalil Gibran

Americans are resilient. When people are in trouble, we jump to assist. In the end, we do indeed come out stronger, even though we may be “seared with scars.”

Let’s stop today and take a minute to be thankful for those heroes, from the law enforcement and first responders to the every day hero who just stopped the lend a hand. Let’s also remember continue to send positive thoughts and prayers for those impacted. My wish for them is rapid healing, both physically and emotionally, and a time for grieving for those who lost loved ones. May they all know that we are all out here and that we care. We stand ready to help in any way we can.

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