Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Boston Marathon: Love That Dirty Water

This post is 100% non-graphic

In a break from your regularly scheduled loss/IF blog, I need to comment on my city. Boston.
I'm gonna tell you a story
I'm gonna tell you about my town
I'm gonna tell you a big bad story, baby
Aww, it's all about my town
The Standells, Dirty Water  
The third Monday in April is a special day in Boston. It is a day that we have yet another holiday for drinking I mean celebrating how awesome we are rather, remembering part of our unique heritage.We have have March 17th as a holiday which we call Evacuation Day. This holiday marks the day in 1776 when the British forces occupying Boston left the city. Happily, it is also St. Patrick's Day, and the city has a significant Irish population. Just about a month later we have Patriots' Day. This holiday, celebrated in only 3 states, marks the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.

Patriots' Day is also the day of the Boston Marathon. Everyone calls it Marathon Monday (Sorry Patriots). College students and permanent residents join together, lining the streets to cheer on others in their athletic feats. The Red Sox play at Fenway at 11:05 and the game crowd walks the few blocks to the finish. The elite runners are long gone, but the charity runners are just straggling over, exhausted and jubilant. Game ends about 3 and a half hours into the Marathon. 

As I am sure everyone is aware by now, there was a bombing at the Boston Marathon yesterday, at 4 hours and 9 minutes. As regular runners and their families were at the finish, two bombs detonated and at least one unexploded device was found. 3 have died, 17 others remain in critical condition; well over 100 are injured.
Image  by Twitter user Boston_to_a_T
This picture is only the catalyst for the images that I hope you take away from yesterday. Yes, there was an explosion, blood, injuries and horror.


There was also humanity in its best form.


Strangers comforting others, military, police, EMTs and regular joes rushing INTO the destruction rather than away from it. Thousands signed up on a Google document to offer shelter to those stranded. One man, a true hero, was featured in one of the hardest pictures of the day. A young man had lost both of his legs in the explosion. He was being wheeled away by 3 people. One of them, pinching the man's femoral artery to staunch the bleeding, was a military veteran. He and his wife were in the VIP stands across from the explosion. They lost one son in Iraq and the other to suicide shortly after. Their son died in an IED attack, they must have been imagining what their son endured, even as they rushed out to help. I can't imagine having that strength, and I hope that that young man survives and can thank those that came to his assistance. (EDIT- He did survive)

That was a big gesture, but there were small ones as well. A Staples employee lent my stranded friend her personal cell phone charger when she discovered her phone was drained. Her act of kindness prevent my friend from walking 8 miles home. One woman on the news last night, still dazed, was being walked home by a woman she didn't know. I received 10s of text messages from friends and family far and wide making sure I was alright. All this in a city famous for its gruff exterior (please don't judge us based on (lack of)  kindness when driving!).

There may be a group of people responsible for this, it may just be one or two 'evil-doers' but there are FAR, FAR more good, kind, loving people, at the marathon, in this city, in this country and in this world. Please remember that and when you think of what happened here today try and remember these images:

Bill Greene/The Boston Globe/Getty Images (He's a Pro football player and didn't know the woman he carried)

From Instragram by ramseymohsen (Strangers)

Here is a blood free link of pictures throughout the day http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/specials/marathon_instagrams/

Well I love that dirty water
Oh, Boston, you're my home (oh, yeah)

The Standells, Dirty Water 

 (Funny, unrelated side note, this is the song that plays at Fenway after a Red Sox win. It is also the song that Hub and I were introduced as husband and wife to at our wedding reception)

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