My Thoughts On The Boston Marathon Bombing.

I have taken a break from writing my blog the last few months, but I have been thinking about writing again lately.  I had planned on writing a fun piece about the kitten that my wife and I took in last year, but it seems that will have to wait until my next post.  Right now, I need to talk a bit about my thoughts and feelings regarding the bomb attack that happened in Boston on the day of the Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013, and the weeks that followed.  There are so many different emotions and thoughts running around in my mind right now that it is somewhat difficult to sort through them all, but I will try my best.

A tragedy like this always shows us both the good side, and the bad side of humanity. Unfortunately, it seems we have seen these tragedies happen far too often lately.  When I think back on just the past twelve months alone, I am shocked by the tragedies that have happened.  All of these tragedies are horrific examples of the evil that humanity is capable of, yet they also bring out some of the best in humanity as well.  A few of the recent events have affected me on a more personal level, and the bombing in Boston has been more personal to me than any of the other events.

I was born in Massachusetts and I have lived there my entire life.  Boston is just over an hour drive from my home and I have spent many fun days in the city walking the streets and enjoying some of the many tourist attractions that Boston has to offer as well as its rich history.  I have gone to Boston to watch plays, eat wonderful food in several of the amazing restaurants, and I have even gone to the city to attend comic book conventions and other events.  I have loved the city of Boston my entire life, and I will continue to love it for the rest of my life as well.  It is because of my love for the city that this particular tragedy feels so close to home for me and affects me on a more personal level.

It is always sad and shocking to witness an event that causes so much pain and suffering and death, but the fact that I know, and have been to the exact spots that the bombings happened has hit closer to my heart than other tragedies that I only know about through my tv.  As the events following the bombings unfolded, I found myself going through so many different emotions.  It started with shock on the day the bombings happened, followed by sadness as the world began to realize what had occurred. 

I went on Twitter as soon as I could to find out as much as I could about the bombings, and it was there that I began to see things that began to make me angry.  In the midst of all the questions and concerns about what had happened and trying to tell some people from across the world what had happened even though I was not sure myself, I saw a few individuals who immediately used the tragedy as a means to spout off their political views, on both the conservative side, and the liberal side.  I found it very offensive that these people would start spouting their political venom even as the injured and dying were still being taken away from the bomb site to local hospitals for treatment.  That was a time for people to come together and help each other, not try to throw their political daggers around.

My anger didn’t last long however as I saw reports of the people who rushed in to help the bombing victims without concern for their own safety.  It warmed my heart to hear about the marathon runners who continued to the hospitals to give blood despite the fact that they had just been running a marathon.  We’ve all seen these images and stories about the heroes that helped out in any way they could, and it is important to see that there are people like that in this world to counter the evil people who would plant bombs and try to harm and kill others.

Speaking of the stories of the tragedy and the heroes that rose from it, I am now reminded of the news media and their rush to get out the stories involved in this tragedy without taking a moment to verify their reports.  I’m sure everyone reading this will know exactly what I am talking about.  It is a sad fact of the state of news today that reports are rushed to get on the air in order to beat reports coming from online sources and social media that often can be just as incorrect.

As that first week wore on, the non-stop news coverage of the events became almost unbearable to watch.  I have now seen the footage of the initial explosion so many times that I can see every detail in my mind now whenever I think about it.  My poor wife ended up seeing a disturbing image of one bomb victim because one of her friends posted it on their Facebook page without warning anyone about the gruesome details of the picture.  By the time Friday rolled around, I no longer wanted to hear any more about the bombing for a while because I had become overwhelmed, but that is when things began to get interesting.

I woke up Friday morning and heard the news about the shootout between the bombing suspects and the police and I immediately became interested in the whole ordeal again.  I normally have Fridays off, so I spent the day following my normal routines.  I spent time catching up on recorded tv shows, doing my laundry, and other mundane tasks while checking in on the news that had been running almost twenty-four hours straight on every channel every day since the bombings for constant updates.

As night fell on Friday, my wife and I were glued to our tv as we watched the police and FBI search for the missing suspect.  We were on the edge of our seats as we switched from channel to channel to see if anyone had any breaking news.  Finally, the police caught the suspect hiding in the now famous boat and I found myself filled with joy that the suspect had been caught, and pride in all the police officers and FBI agents that had worked so hard to bring this terrorist to justice.  I also felt a bit of relief that the ordeal was finally over, for those of us who were watching at least. 

Unfortunately, for the victims of the bombings, and those that lost someone, the ordeal will most likely never truly end.  My heart goes out to all of those victims, whose stories we have seen more of as time has passed, and I hope they are able to piece their lives back together as best as humanly possible.

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Part of the memorial for the bombing victims.

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Another small section of the much larger memorial.

Yesterday, my wife and I finally made a trip out to Boston to see the memorial dedicated to all the victims and visit the site of the bombings.  I am not ashamed to admit that I got choked up at the sight of all the love sent to Boston from around the world, and at the memory of what had happened on that horrible day.  Boston is recovering from the events of that day and the city will continue to heal for as long as it needs to.   I know that my favorite city will not let these events destroy it and will continue on as strong as ever.  I also know that the city will never forget the pain and horror that happened on that day either, and I know that I never will either.  But those memories will just help to make the city and those that love it stronger than ever.

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A sign hanging outside a building near the bombing site.

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Boston strong ribbon put up in a storefront window at the bombing site.

 Whenever something as horrible as this happens, people always say that they can’t understand how anyone could do something so disgusting and so evil.  To those people I say this, be glad you can’t understand their motivations, because that means that you could never do anything that would cause so much pain and horror, and that makes you a better human being than those terrorists will ever be.

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