FROM THE NEWSROOM: When will the tragedies stop?

It was a sunny day in Boston.

By BRYCE MARTIN

Herald Editor

Posted April 19, 2013

It was a sunny day in Boston.

Thousands of people attempted to make the 26-mile journey to the finish line of the annual Boston Marathon. Their knees ached, their lungs heaved for a breath, their clothes drenched with perspiration, their hearts and minds focused on the finish line.

That day, meant to celebrate patriotism and a race to mark personal triumph, ended in terror and bloodshed with the simple blast of two separate yet equally devastating bombs.

The two detonations on Monday, which killed at least three people and injured dozens, was the latest in a string of senseless tragedies that continue to occur around the United States.

When I heard the news – from a Facebook post by a former colleague – I immediately ran to my cell phone and texted one of my friends who lives near Boston. She and her husband also are avid runners and often compete in running competitions.

My heart sank as images of the carnage flashed across the television screen.

Who could do this?

Moments passed after I punched the keys on my phone, trying to contact this friend who I had shared so much of my life with, I heard the familiar chirp from my phone – it was my friend.

She was safe.

Nowhere near Boston at the time.

It was my turn for a sigh of relief. Then I remembered she recently began working at a hospital’s emergency room within the last few weeks. I scratched my head trying to remember if it was in Boston.

Nope, it’s in Worcester.

Another sigh of relief.

I couldn’t help but think there were people out there who weren’t as lucky as I in that moment. Reaching for their phones to contact their loved ones, leaving messages that would never be returned.

It broke my heart.

In the wake of so many recent tragedies in the United States, I find myself struggling to comprehend the type of person who could commit these acts of cowardice violence. Do they understand the tremendous anguish they bestow with the pull of a trigger? Could they look into the faces of their victims and their victims’ families without emotion? Would they enjoy living a life realizing what they’ve done has worked to absolutely destroy an innocent human and their loved ones?

These questions rarely get answered, but even when they do I imagine it provides little solace for the victims; only a little consolation to stifle their grieving hearts.

The only thing we can do in these times is offer support. Donate blood, donate time or money, don’t take things for granted and spend all the time you can with those you love most.

Contact Bryce Martin at bmartin@countrymedia.net.


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