16 Apr

They were men and women.

They were mothers and fathers.  They were children.

They were American.  They were Kenyan, Ugandan, and Indian.

They were runners.  They were spectators.

These were not soldiers in a war or residents of some far off country where IEDs are commonplace occurrences.  These were runners, spectators, and people just doing their jobs in Boston.

This morning, the families of at least three individuals are mourning their losses in the bombings at the Boston Marathon yesterday.  The families of at least another 144 individuals are hoping for the best as they deal with traumatic injuries.

And now, the American people and good, innocent people around the world are mourning tonight as well — at the deaths and injuries of those in Boston, for sure, but also for another death — the death, once again, of our innocence.

We were shaken by 9/11.  We were shaken by Virginia Tech, Newtown, and the other tragedies that have befallen our country in recent times.  But we always return to a period of security, where we’re not scared, not afraid to turn on the news to find out what hell has been wrought upon the world today.

And today, the news is not good.  Hell has visited us again, in the form of an as-of-now nameless and faceless enemy.  We are shaken, and hopefully this tragedy will cause us to be stirred into a period of unity.  No backbiting over stupid politics, no hate-mongering, no fighting because my ideals are different than yours.

Democrat or Republican, gay or straight, American or Indian, Christian, Muslim or atheist, we are citizens of the world community, a community that has once again been rocked to its core by senseless violence and unspeakable tragedy.  We all share the same oxygen, so let’s act like it for once, shall we?  Let’s keep this feeling of unity through our grief and let it stand for the feeling of unity through triumph, and just through everyday lives.

If we can do this, we have won.  The terrorists — no matter foreign or domestic — will not have won if we do this.  Simple as that.

POSTSCRIPT:  I realize that by writing this post and tagging in the natural way a post of this nature would be, I might attract pageviews from people not looking for my opinion, but looking for resources to find individuals who were in Boston today, or resources how to help those people.  So I’ll close my post by providing various resources that people who have landed here for THAT reason might be looking for.

Looking for friends or family that may have been in the area of the attacks?  Google and the American Red Cross have both set up ways for those affected to register whether they are safe or not.

Want to help?  The Eastern Massachusetts branch of the American Red Cross has reportedly been overwhelmed by blood donations in the immediate aftermath of the attacks yesterday afternoon and has asked the public to schedule future donations.

The Boston Police Department (currently the lead investigators of the attacks) are asking people who may have photos or videos of the finish line to submit them to assist in the investigation.

Have a place for visitors to stay?  Thousands of people traveled to the Boston area for this event.  If you are in that area and have a place for those visitors to stay, the Boston Globe has set up a Google doc to submit your address.

Looking for the very latest information? The Boston Globe has set up a webpage that aggregates the latest information on the attacks from throughout the Web.

Want news directly from the sources?  The Boston Police and Fire Departments’ live scanner feeds are available online.


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