It’s hard to describe what went through my mind as I watched the coverage of the tragedy at the Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day. I was 10 years old when the September 11 attacks occurred, old enough to know what happened and understand it was bad, but not old enough to fully grasp the enormity and aftereffects of the attacks on not only the United States, but also the world.
I’m 21 years old now, and with all of the cowardly yet terrifying acts that have happened recently on US soil, I’m at a loss. I’ve heard and read all of the reasons terrorists want to attack the USA, but it’s hard for me to comprehend from behind my desk in quiet College Station, Texas. And more than that, what about the Sandy Hook tragedy or the Virginia Tech massacre? What motive did they have? Why do these people have an innate urge to harm other people? It’s these acts carried out by sociopaths that pose questions we may never know the answer to.
I don’t know who is behind the Boston attack but I do know that Americans, and especially Bostonians, are resilient. If this video below doesn’t give you chills, you don’t have a pulse. It’s the performance of the National Anthem on Wednesday evening at the Bruins game, the first sporting event in Boston since the bombings.
I’ve read a number of stories speculating on whom or what organization was behind the attacks, motives of the attackers, discussing the bombs, talking about how many people are injured, but you know what? I’ve read even more stories describing heroic acts that Bostonians, spectators, and even competitors performed. Just read this. Real stories about real heroes, many of whom risked their lives by rushing into dangerous areas to help fellow Americans in need.
I ran a marathon and when I read about people that finished the race and kept running 2 more miles to a hospital so they could donate blood, I was blown away. 28.2 miles. After my race, the only thing on my mind was sitting, eating a dozen breakfast tacos from Taco Cabana, and not getting up again for a long time. Would I have kept running to the hospital if I had been in Boston? I like to think so. I hope I would have but I don’t know for sure, I don’t think it’s something anyone can premeditate.
What I do know is that these heroes gave everything they had in the race and then ran another 2 miles to help fellow Americans. Mr. Rogers wrote one of the most fitting quotes in The Mister Rogers Parenting Book, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." There are always more helpers than adversaries in the world, more good than evil. If whoever is behind this heinous act thought they could shatter our spirit, they’re going to be sorely disappointed because as Americans have proved time and time again, we stand united, especially in the face of evil.
An event like this makes something like baseball seem trivial and unimportant so I’m not going to do 3 Up 3 Down this week. I’ll resume next week with my thoughts on the first month of the season.