Boston: The New American Reality

I’m having a really hard time processing yesterday’s events in Boston, on what is known there as “Patriot’s Day”.

I just ran my first half-marathon last month in San Diego and I’ve been meaning to write about the experience here, but haven’t gotten around to it.

Now is definitely not the time.

It’s pretty surreal when I think that what happened yesterday was so random, that it definitely could have happened when I attempted to cross the finish line. The feeling of elation I felt at having accomplished something so massively hard is now dwarfed by the reality that people in the same situation in Boston may have lost their limbs or their lives doing the exact same thing.

However, I wasn’t at all shocked or surprised by the bombings.

The place was unexpected, as was the time, but I’m starting to live in constant mental preparedness for the bottom to drop out.

Worse has happened in this country within the last few months (Newtown?), and worse will inevitably happen in the future because bad people will always exist. It’s the sad reality that we’re all living in now. Random violence is plaguing this nation and it’s something that, in my mind, only a superhero could stop.

When I saw Facebook light up with live news coverage and people wrote about shedding tears, I felt like an absolute lump of worthlessness–because I didn’t feel anything but numbness.

As the day progressed, all of the feelings started to surface.

Shame:

Then, I heard that the cause of the explosion may have been an IED, or a roadside bomb.

When I heard about that sweet little 8 year old that lost his life in Boston, my mind unwilling flashed to the hundreds of children in the middle east (and elsewhere) who are killed by these same devices.

Some of those devices planted by the armed services of my own country.

How unpatriotic is that?

Uncle Sam would be most displeased with me. But I can’t help it.

If we are to consider the death of this one child by IED explosion a tragedy, then we must consider the loss of all those little souls a tragedy, as well.

I’m honestly not a bleeding heart liberal, and I’m not a staunch conservative, either. I’m a person who can’t help but see the value in all innocent human life.

Terror:

This New American Reality, one in which I can’t sit in a movie theatre without planning a possible escape route or wonder if living in a major metropolitan city could cost me my life, is scary as hell.

The West Coast hasn’t felt the sting of terrorism as much as the East has. Is our turn next?

Yesterday, as I walked into the public library, I wondered if I was walking into what could be another random attack. Then, when driving home, I imagined every siren I heard was going to what my imagination decided was a terrorist attack.

I had the urge to barricade myself in my apartment and never leave.

Hope:

“…in the light of Voldemort’s return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”

~Professor Dumbledore, Harry Potter

The words “Lord Voldemort” could easily be replaced with the word “terrorist”. I hope who ever planted those horrible devices is found, and soon. Although we don’t know the answer to “who”, we already know the reason why someone did it: they are evil.

But for every evildoer on this planet, there are millions of people ready and willing to do the right and honorable thing. For every life lost to war or terror attack, there are a million waiting to honor the memory of the dead.

I don’t have much confidence that this world will ever see peace, but I’d love for humanity to prove me wrong.

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