The series of events that unfolded in Boston over the last week and a half is almost unbelievable. What started as a horrific bombing at the Boston Marathon quickly turned into a manhunt for suspected bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, that shut down the city of Boston and caused widespread fear.
Slowly, the city of Boston and its people are beginning to recover. Blocks of Boston that have been closed since last Monday are beginning to reopen, and the residents of Boston are beginning to return to their daily routines. Although things are returning to normal, a quiet sense of fear, disbelief and disappointment is lingering. No doubt, many are wondering what kind of people would attack innocent civilians, and why?
Unfortunately, I don’t think Americans will be satisfied with the answers to any of their questions. Instead of focusing on the unanswered questions and horrors of the past week and a half, I think it’s important that all Americans focus on all the good that has come out of this tragedy.
First, we should concentrate on the response immediately after the bombings. Stories have come out of marathon runners—who must have been terrified of the events that were unfolding—who continued to run past the 26.2 mile mark, straight to nearby hospitals to donate blood. These people no longer cared about the fact that they just finished a marathon and were completely exhausted; their focus went straight to helping out those harmed in the explosions.
There were also the first responders and the Boston Police Department who sacrificed their safety to help the people of Boston. When an explosion happens, a person’s immediate response is to run away from the danger. Instead, first responders and members of the BPD who were at the marathon ran towards the danger. For all they knew, another explosion could have occurred, but they put their safety at risk to help those who were injured. The BPD also faced more explosive devices and shootouts while seeking out the Tsarnaev brothers, but they continued to confront the danger to protect the citizens of Watertown, Mass.
The reaction and support from people hundreds of miles away from Boston was also remarkable. People from all across the country have donated over $20 million to the One Fund Boston, which was set up to help those injured in the bombings and the families of those killed. There is also a fund set up to replace the boat that Dzhokhar was found in, which was ruined while the suspect was being captured. Even the Yankees paid tribute to their rival team, the Red Sox, by adopting a Fenway Park tradition and playing “Sweet Caroline” during the game held the day after the bombings.
The events that occurred in Boston were undoubtedly a huge tragedy for the families of the victims, Boston and the entire United States, but in this time of recovery, it’s important to remember the unity and good that Americans have shown in the aftermath. The number of Americans who risked their lives, donated blood and money and simply sent out their support far outnumbers the two people responsible for this tragedy. Americans have the ability to unite in the face of tragedy, and if we continue to do so, terrorism will never win.