I can still remember it vividly, as everyone can when a tragedy occurs. It was about 5:30 on a Monday afternoon last April. As usual, I was finishing up a Digital Media Production project and, all of a sudden, someone told me that a bomb had gone off at the Boston Marathon earlier that day. I had sequestered myself in the media lab, so I hadn’t heard about the attack. I had no idea until much later the absolute scale of the damage and horror that had gone on. My best friend, Jonathon’s, sister, Sarah was running that year, and had luckily finished and been away from the finish line when the bombs had gone off. It still didn’t stop me from being sick with worry about her safety until I managed to make contact later that night and find out she was ok.
Now, it’s one year later, and the Boston Marathon is getting underway as I write this. Sarah is running again, and her whole family is there to cheer her on. I pray for their safety, and for the safety of all the people who are running or cheering loved ones on. I pray that nothing like that happens again, although I know it’s foolish, with the world we live in, but I have faith that Sarah and Jonathon and their family will be ok and be back in Michigan before we know it.
It’s hard to fathom that it has already been one year, especially when I can recall it just as clearly as if it was that awful day. Recall that gut-wrenching fear of possibly losing Sarah, the frustration of not being able to reach her and what that could have meant to our family. Jonathon, Sarah, and their parents are basically my second family, so I was scared almost to the point of paralysis at the thought of losing her. Last year, we all rallied around that city on the Atlantic, rallied because of the injustice of the killing, that something so senseless could be done to what was supposed to be a fun day for Bostonians. Three people died in the blast, one of them was barely older than my young cousin. They were all innocent, the entire dead and wounded, innocent.
Across this campus and the nation, televisions turned to the news channels and people stared, unable to comprehend what they were seeing. When the police captured the lone remaining bomber days later, cheers went up across the country. I wrote a piece last year for the sports section of the College World, and I read over my copy early Monday morning in reflection.
As I did, the last paragraph stood out to me, and I feel that, even after one year, it still rings true. We are all from different places, look different, and many of us have beliefs that others find insane. Nevertheless, when a tragedy such as this occurs, and innocent lives are lost, we all put aside petty differences such as politics and band together to help and protect those hurting. We do this for one reason: We are all human.