My thoughts on the events of the week in Boston
I doubt that I am alone in that I spent the entire week glued to any non-CNN, non Fox media source I could get my ears on (Ok, OK, mostly MSNBC – can’t help it, I like their “Cast”). I drank up any new details on the Boston bombing like a parched desert traveler. After all that, I think that I have a pretty good handle on all the details that have been publicly released so far. I can break down my digestion of the whole thing into the emotions that the week elicited:
SADNESS: On Monday, my colleague knocked on the door of my office and said “Did you hear about the bombing?” Living in New York City, memories of 9/11 are never far from mind. My face dropped. As the details and photos came out I just kept thinking, “It could have been anyone. I was in a race a couple of months back. It could have been me or my friends.” That iconic photo of the cowboy hat hero and the ashen faced young man with his limbs shredded to bits…The photo of 8 year old Martin holding up his school sign about World Peace and being nice to each other. How his parents must be aching….and then, yes, later, looking at the photos of the accused bombers and being so sad that something could have turned both those young men so against humanity…because no matter what your ideology is, the crimes they are accused of involved an international stage and go beyond just a hatred of America…I don’t believe that the elder brother was “a Loser” or “a Loner” – he boxed, he had a coach, he had an athletic discipline, a wife, a child. Sadness. Sadness when I see the photos of the boy brother. JA-Har. He looks like he could be my younger cousin. How could someone with that boy’s face do such a thing? What could have taken possession of him? I’m afraid that no amount of answers to the question WHY will ever be satisfying…..
ANGER, OUTRAGE: How could this happen to us again? I did my part. I let my bag be searched, I took my shoes off at the airport a zillion times. I thought we had this under control, why are we still vulnerable? Did the FBI screw up that lead the Russian government gave us on the older brother? How could they manipulate our system so? I wonder now if the other brother (JA-HAR) just got his citizenship (on 9-11) to mock us so that now we would feel conflicted because he is protected by the rights of our Constitution. I’m also angry that while in a way bringing out the best of Americans, these tragedies also bring out the worst in us. The worst name hurling, immigrant hating, xenophobia that Americans are capable of, that arouses the most ire in me….usually from our fellow Citizens on the right. Although, sometimes, surprisingly not just them…bringing the worst out of us was probably part of the terrorists’ master plan.
PRIDE: I am simply in awe of the capabilities of our Federal government. (As an aside, to quote Spider Man’s uncle: “With great power comes great responsibility.”) Assuming that what has come out in the media is true (and the conspiracy theories are already mounting – even on this WordPress forum), I am just in total wonder of our potential – in wonder that all of our assets, both human and technical were able to solve such a case (at least the first part of it) so amazingly quickly. Proud of the FBI, proud of the police, both local, transit, school, etc. I am so proud to be a taxpayer that gave rise to such a force. I’m proud of the medical personnel in Boston that were able to keep the mortality to only three so far, after the horrifying injuries that so many sustained. Proud that so many heroic individuals ran toward the bomb to assist instead of away to flee, which would have been only natural. The thought that such innate goodness in humanity does exist can almost negate the fact that such callous brutality exists as well.
ANXIETY: What lies ahead? Living in a big city is fun, exciting, but not without risk. I am skeptical that there wasn’t a larger force behind these two. OK, just a conspiracy theory on my own part, but all day Friday I was even conjecturing whether the appearance of the two brothers after the photos were released by the FBI late Thursday wasn’t just a rouse of sorts, to allow other non-identified parties to escape, undetected under the cloud of the massive diversion. Anxious that this IS the world we live in today. I already hate crowds…Anxious that NYC is only a couple hours down the road from Boston…terrorism is like a cancer that has metastasized. We had it in a remission of sorts and now, another damn recurrence…ANXIOUS.
Anxiety is a bad way to go to bed on a Sunday night.