Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Immediate Reactions to Boston

Naturally, the news of the bombings at the Boston Marathon came as a shock. More than that, it just didn't make sense. I couldn't, and still can't quite wrap my mind around it. I don't understand what a terrorist was trying to accomplish by setting off bombs at a marathon, other than to instill fear. If that was the mission, then mission accomplished. At least, for those who have anything to do with marathons.

My husband and son are marathon runners. My daughter and I usually sit in the spectator stands, just like the families did there. So my husband's immediate reaction was that we couldn't go watch anymore. And that he needs to start running faster (or slower, I pointed out) since he would have been crossing the finish line just as the bombs went off. The bomber certainly timed that right to hit the majority of runners and spectators.

But these were knee-jerk reactions. There's no reason to think that this will happen again, or that precautions won't be taken. There's really no reason to be alarmed. Especially because that plays into the objective that the terrorist(s) had in the first place: to instill fear. And I'm not going to give him/them the satisfaction.

After 9/11, I vowed not to let terrorism affect my actions. I don't want to let fear prevent me from living and enjoying the things I do. So I'll go to my husband's next marathon and sit in the stands, terrorists be damned!

But at the back of my mind, there is that tiny niggling; that slight hesitation in wondering whether or not it will be safe.


  1. It's okay to wonder, but I'm glad that you're not giving into the fear. Because yes, that's exactly what terrorists want. (Hence "terror" in the name.)

    A friend of mine messaged me about Boston and said, half-joking, "This is why we can't have nice things." In other words, terrorists, mass shooters, etc., are robbing society of the ability to function normally, to gather in large groups. But actually, after some thought, I'd flip it around: This is exactly why we MUST have nice things. To defy those who would deny us that basic right, that basic humanity.

    I'm going to link to this article in my next blog post, but I'll share here early:

    "There’s one thing we can do to render terrorism ineffective: Refuse to be terrorized."

    1. I agree with you, wholeheartedly. Thanks for the link. I refuse to be terrorized.

  2. I grew up outside of Boston. We could walk to the half-way mark of the Marathon, and we did. Now I live 15 miles south. I worked in the city for years. I can't begin to count the number of connections, runners, walkers, viewers who are a part of my life. And so I froze for a while. Then I decided I couldn't. Here is the thought I embraced the next day. I wrote it on Facebook. I embrace it. I'm going to get myself to Boston as soon as I can.

    "I left for work yesterday and the first thing I saw after backing out of the driveway were two runners. They didn’t stop because of what happened the day before. A ways down the road, another runner jogged up the sidewalk with his dog. When I pulled up at work, a painter drove past, his long ladder dwarfing his short truck, and it made me smile. He carried on, just as I did, as so many of us did, with anguish in our hearts but knowing that to fail to take the next step, to not keep moving would mean surrendering to evil. We all go on, because otherwise we give credence to the depravity of whoever perpetrated these attacks. And we can’t do that. Ever."

    1. This gave me chills, Liza. It's so true, and so meaningful coming from someone so close to what occurred. I won't let these attacks stop me from living. Like you said, we can't give in.