Monday, April 15, 2013

Patriotism on Patriots' Day

Since about 2:00 pm Central Time Monday, the entire country's focus was on the horrific incident in Beantown.

Two huge explosions rocked the Boston Marathon finish line at Copley Square just before 3 p.m. today, killing three and injuring 134 at last count, including several traumatic amputations on streets crowded with runners, spectators and post-race partiers.

Many of those injured are children — including an 8-year-old killed in the blast, the Herald has learned. Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said tonight there is "no suspect" and the death toll is now at three.

“We will get to the bottom of this. We will find out who did this and we will find out why,” said President Obama this evening. “They will feel the full weight of justice.

“Boston is a tough and resilient town. Residents will pull together, take care of each other and move forward,” he added. “The American people are with them every step of the way.”

In this day and age of social media allowing for instantaneous reaction to such newsworthy events, people have a tendency to make a comment without fully weighing the implications of their words. As a result, I pretty much stayed completely away from Twitter in the aftermath of this incident so as to avoid the inevitable rhetorical finger-pointing and empty speculations.

In times like this, I learn to appreciate the American spirit, which has remarkable durability in the face of a crisis. One needs no further evidence of this when seeing the reaction of emergency responders and law enforcement upon detonation of the first device.

Despite a real possibility of another explosive device being nearby, police officers and medical personnel rushed to the aide of those who were severely injured, all the while risking their own personal well being. I understand that it's the job they signed up for, but it's an attribute of which I am always in awe.

How about those who were participating in the actual marathon? All that they put into preparing for the event (e.g. rigorous physical training, exorbitant financial commitment, etc.) seemed so insignificant in light of their fellow Americans being in despair. In fact, a friend of mine Andrew Wagner summed it up best:

America: Reports of Marathon Runners that crossed finish line and continued to run to Mass General Hospital to give blood to victims.
Yes, there will be plenty of time to assess why this bombing happened and how the guilty party should be punished. But on Monday, the President was absolutely correct when he said this was one day where we're not Republicans and Democrats....we're all Americans.

How fitting that the utmost form of patriotism was on full display on Patriots' Day.


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