The events of April 15, 2013, shook our country once again. Shook, but didn't break, it. In the face of unspeakable tragedy, heroes arose as they always do in this country. While the coward who perpetrated the bombings might think himself some kind of hero, he/they is/are the worst kind of coward. Anyone who targets innocents is a coward.
The victims were children, women, and men who were there to watch friends and family members complete one of the hardest athletic competitions there is. They were there to cheer, to celebrate, to be a part of something wonderful. Now many are maimed for life, and three, including an eight year old boy, are dead. And to what end?
To make us fear? We all have fears, but one thing cowards don't understand is that for most Americans, something like this only makes us stronger, more determined to live our lives in spite of fear. It brings us together and makes us put aside our differences to work together to make sure it doesn't happen again. It brings out the hero in the most ordinary person. Like the people who ran into the face of danger to help those who were hurt. They didn't know if another bomb would go off in their midst. Most likely they didn't even think about it. They just knew they had to help.
There were the runners who had just run 26.2 miles (I can't even begin to imagine that) who went on to give blood, to help however they could. The strangers who handed over their precious cell phones so others could call home. The people who gave the coats off their backs so others could be warm. Those who opened their homes to people they'd never met so they would have a place to sleep.
There were our first responders, those brave men and women who put their lives at risk day after day to put a barrier between us and those who want to hurt us. They have families of their own, yet they risk their lives for ours. Police, fire fighters, EMS, doctors, nurses, volunteers or paid, they waded in and did what had to be done. The images will be forever fixed in their minds, images so horrible they couldn't be shown on television, yet they have to live with them. And they'll be there again, if they're ever needed.
This attack felt personal to me because I have a child who lives in Boston. And she's a runner. She wasn't at the marathon, thank God, but I didn't know that at first. Thankfully I was able to get through to her by text right away, before the phones went down, to find out she was safe. But this happened less than a mile from her school, a mile and a half from her home. It has to affect her in some way. And I hate that. I hate that some faceless coward has the ability to make my child look at strangers with suspicion, to make her weigh the risks when she wants to do something.
But like America, she's strong and she's a survivor. She'll make it, and most likely she'll help someone else to make it, too. That's what Americans do.