Reflection in the Aftermath of Tragedy

Yesterday I was glued to the news unfolding out of Boston. The streets I had once called home were in lockdown, eerily quiet except where thousands of police officers, lights flashing, searched for a young man who had brought terror to the city. It was surreal, almost unbelievable. If felt like a set of a movie. But it was not.

When the final suspect was captured alive, I felt giddy with relief.

Today the news is full of the stories of two men who came to America to escape the violence in their own country and then unleashed their own brand of terror. It speculates on why. Friends of these men are being interviewed. It is all about the perpetrators. Understandable? Yes.

But as the sun rose this morning I reflected on the past week, a week when innocence and joy was shattered on a clear Boston day and fear surged in the hearts of Americans. I ache to find something good. I want to turn away from the evil that hides behind the innocent-looking face of a curly haired nineteen year old. I want to remember that good is more powerful than evil. That when bombs exploded, people rushed to help. Doctors, nurses and aides dropped everything and raced to hospitals which had been turned into triage units. Police officers, paramedics, and bystanders pressed bare hands to bleeding bodies. Ordinary people opened their hearts and homes to complete strangers.

When evil swept its ugly hand across the face of a city, good rose from the dust.

I don’t want to forget that.

In the weeks and months ahead, the injured will still be struggling to recover. The families of those killed will still be grieving. The first responders will still be waking from nightmares. And there will still be people whose first thought is to help when tragedy strikes. It is that knowledge that strengthens our hearts, gives us reason to hope, allows us to face a new day again.

I don’t want to forget that.

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    • Mary on April 20, 2013 at 06:27

    Beautiful and thank you.

  1. I think we all need to start focusing on that. Too often it’s only the perpetrator who is remember after a tragedy like that.

  2. Beautifully put Wendy. We could not seem to turn the television off yesterday as well. Such a sad week.

    • Susan on April 20, 2013 at 09:41

    I have been avoiding for now reading about the bombers and their past, until more is known. I’ve been concentrating on reading about the survivors, and their stories as they start to heal, and how they are doing. I’m glad that some of the people are named in the photos, so we can see how they are recovering, and my heart always goes out to those who were killed. It was amazing how many people were saved by fast action and bravery on that afternoon, and that’s how I’m looking at Monday. A terrible day that showed the human spirit at it’s best, and its worst.

    • Bonnie on April 20, 2013 at 13:08

    Well said Wendy, now is the time to focus on the victims and their families whose lives will never be the same.

    • pburt on April 21, 2013 at 10:48

    Thank you for putting into words what so many of us are feeling.

    • Ti on April 23, 2013 at 06:52

    Living in the FB and Twitter age makes these events even more painful. For one the horrible, graphic images that were shared by eye witnesses at the scene. The trending of misinformation. Then finally, the fact that Boston fell off the trending list and that happened in 2 days (I took note). How can something so horrific, be gone from the front pages and trend feeds in just a couple of days?

    The same thing happened with the horrible explosion in West, TX except, they fell off the trending stream after just one day.

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