What a week we've just had.
In the past 7 days I've seen examples of the worst of people and the best of people. So much could be said about either that I could write a book and still not express everything I'd want to say about it.
Here are some random reflections looking back over it all...
For starters, when I drove into NY last week for a funeral, I saw a billboard right where I entered into Albany that had the Boston skyline and the message "Boston, you are in our prayers" and had a candle on the right side. This went up just days after the bombing.
After spending hours alone in the car listening to news radio trying to get any updates I could to drive over the horizon and see that was very touching.
Which brings me to the 2nd point... speculation. Leading up to the identification of the bombers, everyone was hoping and speculating who could have been behind it. Gut feeling had me thinking it was Islamic extremists but the constant barrage of "it could be a tea party extremist" from the left wing media had me starting to question it. Even though it was tax day and patriots day as they pointed out, the one fact that had me doubting it would be a tea party extremist is why, if they were lashing out at the government, would they have picked a nearly 100% civilian target? If an IRS building or government building was bombed then I'd say it might be a home grown terrorist, but not a civilian target.
I heard and read two different sides to this. One was a Hindu from India who hoped it wasn't a "brown skinned" Islamic extremist because as he put it, they looked too much like him and he ended up getting the fallout. The other side were those who openly wished it to be a white tea party member because they wanted so bad to point fingers and blame those who disagree with them politically. The jumped quickly to the guy who mailed poison to Obama but that story quickly disappeared from the media once it came out that the guy who did it was a Democrat.
Then we had the lock down and random door to door searching. Having spent a lot of time listening to the radio, I was shocked by some of the interviews with people in Boston over this. One woman said in the future when major events take place perhaps we'd be safer under martial law. Another called for us to be in more of a police state, saying we need cops with machine guns walking around all over the place.
What would any of that accomplish other then taking more rights away from innocent good people?
What did the total lock down of a major city accomplish other then cause a great number of businesses to lose income and cause major inconveniences for many travelers?
Look at what lead to the eventual capture of the two idiots, the lock-down did nothing to help. Once identified and forced to go on the run, they hijacked a car. The driver escaping and calling police allowed police to use the cell phone he left behind as a tracking GPS. After the shootout that killed one of the two, the other was able to flee and hide for the entire day. At this point the city went into total lock-down and this only prolonged the capture. Once the lock-down was lifted the owner of the boat went outside and found blood on his boat and a cut in the cover which lead to the discovery and capture of the 2nd bomber.
Last observation was with the media itself. After spending hours in the car listening to the news radio playing snippit after snippit taken from all the major networks it's no wonder we have so many conspiracy theorists in this country. One network puts out incorrect information and within minutes every other network is rushing to report the same story. Any rumor any Joe Blow on the street said within earshot right away was reported. Within a day after the bombing there was enough incorrect information put out that I could build a theory claiming Obama was working with aliens who beamed the bomb into place just before it went off.
The worst is over now. The two suspects were caught or killed and now every aspect of their lives, including any connections they had, will be identified and scrutinized by professionals.
Which brings us to what we see now, the best of people.
Bedford Village Inn raise thousands for the victim who lost both legs. The Red Sox organization has begun raising money to help the survivors. Even the guy who's boat was destroyed in the final capture has had people step up offering to donate toward a new boat for him. Numerous people have rushed to local hospitals and blood banks to donate blood. Even Yankee stadium belted out Sweet Caroline (or Sweet Adeline as John Kerry put it) during their game after the bombing took place.
Despite all the outpouring of help and support, the road to recovery for some of the victims hasn't even begun. Four young lives were taken from us, leaving their families a lifetime of pain dealing with their losses. Others now have physical injuries that they must live with. Some minor but scars will remain never the less but others who have lost limbs or suffered head injuries will suffer every day.
I think it was the stories of amputations that bothered me the most, especially the young children. Growing up with a grandfather who lost his arm in a war, I saw first hand the struggles he went through. People staring at him because he wore a hook. Medical problems right up until the day he died because of circulation problems because of his amputation. He struggled to do things that took two arms that many of us don't even think about.
My heart goes out to all of them. The more I see of the individuals injured and suffering the more I wish I could do more. Money helps with the bills but it doesn't help the pain. Likewise, I already give blood regularly so even though my blood may have helped keep them alive it wont comfort them through painful recovery.
If I thought it would help I'd offer to run next years marathon pushing them like the father who runs with his wheelchair bound son every year.
All we can do is pray for the ones we lost and be there for whatever we can for those who survived.