A little over twenty four hours ago, a horrific event occurred that everyone has heard of by now. To me this was a “where were you moment.”
4:09:44 into the Boston Marathon, there was an explosion at the finish line. Marathon runners would say they thought it was just a cannon going off for celebrating the race and accomplishments that they had all just completed. Moments later, another explosion occurred. Panic set in as waves of people were sent scattering in all directions. Smoke filled the air of Boylston Street. Blood stained the streets and sidewalks.
After the initial shock of the incident, the usual questions raced through my head. Are we under attack? Could this have possibly been an accident?
As the hours passed, we would find out that it was not an accident. Two bombs were detonated at or near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
From what I understand, the Boston Marathon is one of the most sacred days of the year for the state of Massachusetts. It is a day when hundreds of people push their bodies to the limits. It is a day of celebration. It is a day to be cherished. It is a day of celebration. A day of happiness.
Instead the citizens of Boston, and the rest of the country were left with a day of terror, shock, sadness and grieving. But this is not why I will ultimately remember this day.
I will remember this day for the opposite reason. I will remember the image of Boston’s finest running towards the chaos. I will remember the bravery and courage of all of the members of the police department that cleared the area of innocent people, so they wouldn’t be in harms way, all while they remained behind in harms way to help the wounded.
The images of people on gurneys, the people crying, the people screaming in terror will not be what I remember most about this day. The image that will stick in my head when this event is brought up is the one that most people have seen by now. It is the image of police rushing into the streets right after the explosion to help a runner who was knocked down by the blast. They bolted into action without second thought. Without thinking of their own safety.
The actions of these individuals, along with everyone else that ran towards the chaos is what this day will ultimately be about for me. It acts as a metaphor for this nation for me. No matter what happens. No matter what someone does to us, you won’t beat us. Sure, in the initial shock and awe of what happens, we may run. But there are those of us who will stand up and fight to protect us all. There are American heroes. And when the rest of us see these men and women jump into action without any hesitation, it INSPIRES the rest of us. This is what makes America strong. This is what makes us a nation undividable. One attack will make us rally together, and become stronger than ever before. These actions are what make young boys and girls want to grow up and aspire to be the protectors. Each time you hit us, you create another generation of American Heroes. And after the tragedy that occurred in the city of Boston, now is the time for American Heroes.
And there are also a select few who need to be mentioned. The three who lost their lives in the bombing. A Chinese student studying at Harvard. An eight year old boy. And a member of the class of 2001 from Medford High School. Our thoughts and well wishes go out to these people, and especially their friends and family.
Unnamed Chinese national
You will all be missed.