It’s been a few days since the events occurred in Boston. I have yet to write anything here because, frankly, I still am having a hard time expressing what I feel. Heartbroken. Sad. Angry. I can’t even begin to imagine what Bostonians and the runners and spectators who experienced it firsthand must be going through.
When I first heard of the news, I was sitting on the couch, nursing my youngest son. I had picked up my phone to check out twitter for the 10 min or so he was busy nursing. I saw a tweet from a runner from NYC that said something about bombs at the finish line. I first thought she meant it in the context of bonking along the course but then my home phone started ringing. Once I saw it was my mom calling, I knew something horrible had happened. I turned on the news to see the photos that have become all too familiar to us now.
Having been deployed to Iraq numerous times, I am all too familiar with seeing innocent civilians attacked. One of the most disturbing aspects of Monday, for me, was that if you took off the news banners on the screen, took away the signs that it was the Boston Marathon, the footage could have come from Baghdad – Shi’ites attacking Sunnis and vice versa. These ruthless attacks were often at large, joyous gatherings and the targets were always the innocent bystanders. It is ALL too familiar for me, and I’m sure any of my brothers and sisters in arms who spent time overseas.
My thoughts, prayers, and heart are with all the runners, spectators, and families who were affected on Monday.
To my fellow running community: I have never been prouder to call myself a runner. The show of support the last 2+ days has brought me to tears.
To the Boston Marathon Runners: Be Proud of the Race You Ran – don’t let the events damper your journey to get there or run that race
To the thousands of spectators: Thank you for being out to cheer the runners on. The fans lining the course – cheering, high-fiving, handing out beers – is one of the things that makes the Boston Marathon so special. It’s a community event – not just a race.
To the first responders: Thank you for running TO the site of the bombs to help your fellow Americans. You are the heroes.
To those responsible: (in the words of Toby Keith): You’ll be sorry that you messed with The U.S. of A. ‘Cause we’ll put a BOOT in your ass. It’s the American way
There have been some wonderful articles and posts written about Monday’s events. I won’t try to be as poetic as they are, so I figured I would share some of them with you in case you haven’t seen them:
Boston. F-ing horrible.
I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”
But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.
But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.
But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.
So hug your kids tonight, but also encourage them to start training for the next marathon tomorrow. Now that I think of it, maybe we should make this one longer — from Boston to the site of the World Trade Center to the Pentagon — to remind ourselves and anyone else who needs reminding: This is our house. We intend to relax here. And we are not afraid.
If you are losing faith in human nature today, watch what happens in the aftermath of an attack on the Boston Marathon. The flood of donations crashed the Red Cross’s Web site. The organization tweeted that its blood supplies are already full. People are lining up outside of Tufts Medical Center to try and help. Runners are already vowing to be at marathons in the coming weeks and months. This won’t be the last time the squeakers run Boston. This won’t be the last time we gather at the finish line to marvel how much more we can take than anyone ever thought possible.
Or perhaps it was someone who saw a reflection of the human spirit and decided just to try to shatter it.
If you are a runner in the NYC area, come join me and lots of amazing runners as we run to show support to Boston:
For More Information:
We are working on making this a global event. 16 cities are participating so far (so if you aren’t in NYC area, check out the list here for other cities or how you can start one in your city!)