I’ve only recently begun my blogging journey, and I use it as a creative outlet to reflect on things that occur in my life. I’m about to release my debut historical romance, and blogging has been a different kind of writing for me, one that in a short time I’ve come to enjoy.
But I didn’t know if I could blog about yesterday’s events in Boston. Or if I even wanted to.
9/11 still seems emotionally raw to me over a decade later. Always patriotic before that horrifying event, I find that even now when I’m at a football game and they raise our US flag, I tear up as I sing the words to The Star-Spangled Banner. Sometimes that thickening of the throat causes me merely to mouth the words, as my emotions run high with love and memories.
Boston became a war zone yesterday, more Bagdad than American city. The cradle of liberty. The heart of the American Revolution. Boston was subjected to chaos and confusion and horror. Blood everywhere. Screams. It made my heart hurt for those present. For the city of Boston. And for us as a nation.
I think of little Martin Richard, 8 years old, close to the finish line, ready to cheer his father on during those last steps. Martin, now dead. His mother, undergoing surgery for severe brain injuries. His little sister, a first grader, now minus a leg.
I ache for this family and the countless others affected by bombs placed in an area where there would be maximum destruction at an optimum time. Questions echo through my head. Why? Who? What for?
Yet Americans are resilient. We seem to be at our best during the worst of times. Doctors running the race stopped to render aid. Police and National Guardsmen sprang into action. Runners continued running – straight to hospitals – to donate much-needed blood.
Yes, emergency rooms filled to the max with victims arriving with missing limbs. Medical personnel poured in to pitch in. And a nation prayed.
All of this, despite the circumstances, makes me proud to be an American. We, like Anne Frank, continue to see the good in others – despite everything.
What gave me courage to write about Boston’s tragedy today? Fred Rogers. You remember Mr. Rogers – the sweater-wearing, mild-mannered guy who taught life lessons to countless young children on PBS. I saw a Facebook post with a quote of his last night and immediately shared it on my wall.
It’s true. Look for the helpers. Those first responders. Some may be professionals, but many are not. They are supporters of mankind, ready to aid and assist. They encourage, they boost our spirits, they have our backs – even though they are strangers.
Thank you, Mr. Rogers. You helped put the tragic events of yesterday into perspective for me. God bless America. God knows we need it.