Monday, April 15, 2013

Picking Up The Pieces

Yet another horrible event goes down in the U.S. today. Two separate explosions went off near the finish line at the Boston Marathon today. Watching video of how things unfolded reminds me of every time I have ever had to deal with tragedy in this world. My first time as a teacher when I wrote about what happened on 9/11, the year I explained to my son why we sponsor a child in Haiti whose mother died and is not around to care for him anymore, and when a madman gunned down innocent children at Sandy Hook Elementary. We all know that talking to your kids about tragedy is hard. How do we make sense of these tragedies and move on?

Seeing the report that an 8 year old boy was among the dead just sickens me. Just a week ago a spent A Night At The Museum with my own 8 year old. Is there no where we can go that is safe from these attacks? It really scares me to think that even in places like this, with such a strong police presence at an event that is supposed to be a celebration of a great city, that the unthinkable happens. That somehow bombs were set to go off in order to hurt people. That's the only reason you set a bomb. Yes, you've hurt us. The ways that people seek out to hurt one another in this world saddens and frightens me.

I was nowhere near the action and can only read stories from people who were there. The images are gruesome, the videos unreal, and still in the moments that ensue we see people running TOWARD the explosions. Sure most are running away as they should but watching the video and seeing people rush over to the wounded gives me some hope. Those people are stronger than fear. Not knowing if all is safe and wanting to help whomever is hurt, is still a testament to the good in human nature.

I don't think that it is coincidence that today, in Boston,it was Patriot's Day. President Obama himself said at a press conference, "It's a day that celebrates the free and fiercely independent spirit that this great American city of Boston has reflected from the earliest days of our nation." That is not where the significance ends either. Patriot's Day also holds anniversaries with other significant tragic events. Abby Ohlheiser of The Slatest writes in The Significance of Patriot's Day
"So why were people so quick to speculate about the holiday's possible significance? Undoubtedly because they were inspired by the fact that this week does contain a number of unhappy anniversaries:the Oklahoma City Bombing (April 19, 1995), the Waco assault (April 19, 1993), the Columbine School Shooting (April 20, 1999), and the Virginia Tech massacre (April 16, 2007), for starters. Two of those tragedies—the Virginia Tech massacre and the Waco assault—were on Monday, the Patriot's Day of those years."
For now I pray for the victims and their families. I pray for the people of the great city of Boston to show us what they are made of. I hold my kids and loved ones even tighter. I pray that doesn't happen elsewhere. Of course my wife is away all week in NYC. Two hours from me seems like an eternity. I pray that we can find out who did this, and why and pick up the pieces and move on.

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