Monday, April 15, 2013

Mourning Has Broken

Sometimes, words alone just can't cut it.  One grapples for a reason or an explanation for a tragedy such as this and none is proffered.  A despicable act of violence is visited upon innocent people by an individual or individuals and the mind boggles. Three people are dead, one of them an eight year old boy, and dozens more are wounded, some critical. 

It matters not whether this attack was homegrown or spawned in a foreign land thousands of miles away. What matters most, at least at this precise moment, is the carnage wrought by the attack. The city of Boston is in mourning and a nation sends its prayers towards those who have been touched directly by it.

What should have been a day of celebration for a proud city turned in a few seconds into a national tragedy. Once more our sense of safety and security has been shattered; once more we are humbled and reminded how precious and delicate life truly is; and once more we come face to face with unspeakable evil.

I do not much care to play the game of politics, not with the blood of innocent lives still staining the sidewalks of Boston. Those who would turn this horrific event into a sideshow to advance an agenda are more depraved than the psychopath or psychopaths who planned and carried out the cowardly deed. The truth is I could care less what the President said or didn't say at his news briefing. Calling it an act of terror gives little comfort to the families and loved ones who are grieving at this moment. They need our prayers, not our ideology.

As I watched the attack, my soul was sickened. While this was not even remotely close to the scale of 9/11, it was far more graphic in its impact. On that day, what we focused in on were the two planes hitting the twin towers and the ensuing collapse of both hours later. As gripping as those images were, they seemed almost surreal. Even today, more than a decade later, it is still hard to imagine the skyline of lower Manhattan without those two iconic buildings. Truth is, I still can't believe it happened.

But this was different. We saw, up close and personal, just what a bomb could do to human bodies. Those people were there to cheer on the marathon runners and then, without warning, they were lying on the ground, mangled and bleeding profusely. Some had lost limbs, some a lot more. One reporter said he saw a little boy, sitting stunned in a pool of his father's blood. The father had lost both legs. Imagine, if you will, a father, carrying his son on his shoulders so he could see the race. He will never be able to do that again.

This is what real violence looks like. This is what evil is. It is patient and merciless. It waits for just the right opportunity and then it strikes, stealing that which is most precious and dear to us.

Over the next few days and weeks, the various intelligence-gathering agencies will begin the process of discovering the whos, hows and whys. That is their job.

Our job? Hug a child, spouse or loved one and tell them how much they truly mean to us. In Boston, there are those who would give all they had and then some to have that chance just once more.

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