April 15, 2013
I spent most of the day watching the news. Twin explosions at the Boston Marathon rocked the world and made a fear which never really left come back like a punch in the gut. (I’ve been punched in the gut and I know how it feels)
I frantically texted my daughter and, thankfully, she was 2 minutes away from home. I told her to hurry as something crazy is happening to the world again. She burst through the door a few minutes later crying, asking, “Is it North Korea?” She was frantic we were all going to die because of the news that has been on lately.
There are 2 things I want to say here. Well 3 things.
Number one thing is that I will say horror a lot. It’s a word stuck in my head today.
The second thing is my horror that our children, MY children and MY grandchild, have to live with the same fear my peers and I had when it came to the threat of nuclear war. I used to go to bed at night terrified that I would melt in my sleep. I would dream of horrible deaths of the people I loved. I don’t want my child to go through that. Why does she have to? ( I wish I could write more about this but my thoughts are still pretty scattered to get it out the right way. All I can say properly is please vote and these madmen will not be so powerful in this world. Feel free to say in the comments what you think as well.)
My son is 12 years older than she is and didn’t have that threat over his head while growing up, at least, not a very serious one. Now, however, he has his own family that he loses sleep over because of it.
The third thing I want to say comes after watching the coverage in Boston replayed over and over again by the media. I tried to block the images of the blood on the streets; I tried not to think about the limbs of innocent people strewn over an area where thousands had gathered for a famous sporting celebration on a major American holiday when bombs went off…That’s when I saw something else.
I saw the helpers.
It struck me how help was there immediately when that street of celebration became Hell. There were medical staff there for sure and police, of course, as they were there for the event. Runners who just ran an unbelievable 42.20 km, rushed to the injured spectators or to other fallen runners. I saw people frantically ripping down and climbing over fences, rubble and banners to get to the hurt and fallen. The strength they showed was almost inhuman. There were many people who ran away from the blasts, looking for those they loved, going for safety or lining up at the hospitals giving their own blood to save others not so fortunate.
Then there were these other people who could have run away to do nothing, but they stayed and saved the world. I noticed them the most.
Many of them were young people. The under 30 group who I admit I was guilty of being so quick to judge in negative ways. They were there, ripping and tearing to get to those on the sidewalk, struggling to wrap t-shirts around severed legs and horrific wounds, comforting a stranger’s child until her mom could be found. Young people everywhere, carrying the injured, pushing wheelchairs and working hard, side by side, with the police, and medical personnel. Organizing. Helping.
They would not leave until they were made to go, covered in other people’s blood, maybe their own; looking for more ways to get rid of the nightmare their world had become. The anger and hurt and horror on their faces was almost worse than seeing the carnage on the street.
This was not a war they chose to fight.
My friends and I used to worry about youth today. After all, they will be the adults who will have to look after us in our old age. We were fearful.
I’m not worried anymore.
When I was a boy and I would see scary things on the news, my Mother would say to me “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping”
To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster’, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.
– Mr. Rogers