It’s hard to know where to start, The closest connection I have to the Boston Marathon is one of the physical therapy assistants in the office I go to who ran (and is safe). In truth, most of the people I know are either too out of shape or too busy to train, myself included. As to going in to watch, most of us don’t have the day off… then there’s the crowds, traffic, parking.
Still the marathon is a mark of springtime in Boston, and since I don’t live along the route, no hardship to my daily life.
Yet, like all of you, I was caught off guard, shocked and horrified at the bombings at the finish line, timed for when the most ordinary people would be there with devices intended to inflict devastating damage.
What the bomber(s) didn’t count on was the quick thinking of those first on the scene and the city they were operating in. We have many of the best hospitals in the world here, proven by the fact that all who arrived at Boston hospitals that day have survived, a tribute to both immediate attention on scene and the medical skill of everyone who cared for them once they were in the doors. The numbers in critical condition and still in the hospital decrease daily, the inter-faith service has been held, and still we wait for word on who did this, and why.
As you’d expect, the Boston media is in a virtual feeding frenzy, stoking the fires of unease, prolonging the sense of siege with round the clock coverage and ever more gruesome footage. Other outlets aren’t letting up either, but I find I have to tip my hat to the image used on the most recent Sports Illustrated cover — it captures exactly the people I am keeping in my thoughts and prayers.
What I’m struck by, more than anything, is the stories of everyday heroism that continue to emerge. How those first responders, some of them marathon volunteers and ordinary bystanders, jumped into action along with the police, fire and even two soldiers who were there, on the spot as always. These are the people who run toward the blood and chaos to help strangers. Who don’t know if they are risking their own lives as they do this, but do it just the same. Who surely suffer in silence afterward at what they saw or had to do.
These people, some we know, some we don’t, saved lives that day.
Perhaps most inspiring of all are the wounded themselves, struck out of nowhere and awaking helpless in a hospital, their lives forever changed, these ordinary people are showing what they’re made of too.
The girl in the photo, 17-year-old Sydney Corcoran, upon awaking from surgery, had one request, find the two men who’d saved her, and thank them. She joins a Northeastern University student searching for army sergeant, “Tyler” who helped calm her terror and saved her life. Both girls are rather heroic themselves, in my opinion.
So, you can bomb us, you can blast off body parts and kill innocent young women and children, but you can’t break us. You’ll never break us.