Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombing Day Two

It is another sad time in America. I do not know about you, but I have watched and read a lot about this most recent cowardly act of terrorism in a major city in the United States.

As usually happens when an event like this occurs, the original reports were once again incorrect. At first, we heard there were one and possibly two more backpack bombs, or as they are now referring to them, the pressure cooker bombs, that were out there and had not been detonated.

Sure enough, as the investigation continued, thankfully, no more bombs were found. It seems today when virtually everyone has a mobile device of some sort or another, everyone, including me, becomes a journalist. If you have a smart phone, you can immediately become an expert.

Oftentimes, in events like these, eyewitness testimony proves to be incorrect. For me, the fascinating thing about eyewitnesses is they are absolutely sure of what they saw. The fact is, oftentimes two people can be standing next to each other and both see completely different things.

We, as Americans, are constantly shocked when events like the bombing in Boston happen here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. The sad truth is, these types of attacks are everyday occurrences and have been for many years in countries all over the world.

In Northern Ireland for instance, bombings like this occurred almost every day for years until both sides came together and ironed out their differences. It is the same way in several countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa. The only difference is it still goes on. The authorities call it a good day when they do not have a bombing like this one.

As of yet, we do not know who set off these bombs. Chances are pretty good they will find who did it, and why. My questions are, when will it happen again, and where?

Meanwhile, the outrage over security at a large event like this will take center stage for a short amount of time, and then, once again we will go back to living our lives in carrying out our business in our normal manner.

Today America is one. Just like 9/11 when we dropped all of the prefixes for the way we referred to Americans. For instance, there were no Asian Americans, African-Americans, Native Americans or Latino Americans; we were just all Americans united together doing what we could to heal after the attacks. That lasted for a while. However, it was not long until we went back to the fractured Americans that we are.

I have noticed the last couple days how many of the broadcast journalists and writers on the Internet have dropped the prefixes to the American terms again. I am anxious to see how long that lasts before we once again, go back to using those hyphenated terms for the various groups of. Americans. We all know it is going to happen.

This Sunday, April twenty-first, in a show of solidarity with Boston, London race organizers for the London Marathon confirmed the race would be run as planned. London is no stranger to terrorist acts. There will be an estimated one million spectators lining the 26.2 mile marathon course.

The following six paragraphs were taken directly from an article written by Steve Douglas for the Associated Press:

“One of the great things about these marathons is that they are free and available to the public — that's why we have hundreds of thousands of people come out and watch them,” Nick Bitel, chief executive of the London Marathon, told The Associated Press by phone. “I can’t see how that is going to change.

“It’s part of the whole ethos of what a mass-participation marathon is about. What one has to do is make appropriate and reasonable security measures in light of the threats and that's what we’ll be doing on Sunday."

There will be 30 seconds of silence before the start of the elite men’s race and mass start to “mark the tragic events that have unfolded in Boston,” organizers said in a statement. Runners are encouraged to wear a black ribbon, which will be given to them when they pick up their race numbers.

“We want to show our support for our friends and colleagues in Boston at this difficult time for the global running community,” race director Hugh Brasher said.

Prince Harry, the patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, will attend the race and make the presentations to the winners from the field of 36,550 runners.

“We won’t be cowered by this sort of behavior,” said British Sports Minister Hugh Robertson, who hailed the country’s security forces as “the best anywhere in the world.”

“The best way for us to react is to push ahead with the marathon on Sunday, to get people on the streets and to celebrate it as we always do in London. These are balance of judgments but we are absolutely confident here that we can keep the event safe and secure. I think this is one of those incidents where the best way to show solidarity with Boston is to continue and send a very clear message to those responsible.”

I especially liked race director Hugh Brasher’s comment; “We want to show our support for our friends and colleagues in Boston at this difficult time for the global running community.”

That says it all! The phrase, “global running community” sums up what not only running, but every other sport is. They are large communities scattered all over the world interested in their chosen sport. I believe any athlete would tell you the same thing. Yes, sport is about competition, but it is also about cooperation.

When I competed at an early age, I met guys from other schools who are still my friends today. I would not give up those friendships for anything. If my father were alive today, he would tell you the same thing about not only the athletes he competed against, but also the coaches he coached against.

I liked the fact the Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox all canceled their games yesterday in a show of solidarity with the city of Boston. The New England Patriots also made a statement showing their support.

Sport is a wonderful thing! I love the fact those three professional teams canceled their games to help show the city of Boston and people all over the world they care.

I know this is the longest post I have ever put up, but once I got started I just could not stop. I guess this subject got my adrenaline going and I switched into another gear. That sporting ethos came out in me! If you have read this far, I hope you enjoyed it.

As always, I look forward to your comments.




Richard G Evans said...

Very beautifully and powerfully written. Thank you for putting into words what so many of us feel right now.

I pray that we will learn the lessons of 9/11 and emerge less fractured this time. At no time in my life, and yours, have we seen more open hostility to other points of view on so many political and yes, religious issues.

Somehow we have forgotten that we are truly all God's children, no matter what our views on issues we can rightly feel passionately about, but which should never come between us, yet they do.

Your post reminded me that something as simple as sports, music, and other events or expressions of the beauty of humanity can nudge that reminder.

Thanks as always Mike.

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