It is easy to get angry when looking at the images in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. It’s simple to focus on the rage you feel toward the person or persons who would attack innocent runners and bystanders on a citywide day of celebration. If we stop there though, we are doing a disservice to all those who put themselves at risk to help people who they likely had never met, let alone seen, before today.
Without doubt, people are right to be angry and upset when they first see the bloody images and explosion videos. I know I was.
People run in marathons for charity, to raise money—sometimes thousands of dollars—for loved ones or for research on debilitating diseases. What kind of sick mind would want to attack those who are putting themselves through the most difficult athletic event for the sake of others?
The 26th mile of the Marathon was dedicated to the Newtown, Conn. shootings from late last year. Several of the families of the victims of that attack were in attendance in Boston, some reportedly in the direct vicinity of the explosions. Now these two events may be forever linked due to a much more sinister result.
The Boston Marathon is officially known as a New England holiday—Patriots’ Day—one of the biggest days for celebration in the city. It is terrifying to think that someone would deliberately attack these people—women, children, families—in the middle of what is supposed to be such a happy time.
But in times like these, times where the worst in humanity comes to light, sometimes the best comes out too. Perhaps it is better to focus on people like that, even when it is so easy to simply reflect on the evil that has been done here.
When most spectators were running scared from the blasts, dozens ran toward them selflessly to tend to those who had been injured. These weren’t only the paramedics and policemen either, but just regular people who wanted to lend a hand.
There were reports of medical personnel who were running in the race who immediately began tending to the wounded around them, and of other runners who crossed the finish line and kept on running straight to the Red Cross to donate blood. The work of the paramedics and first responders not only saved the lives of the injured, but also prevented others from becoming victims.
Websites cropped up in the hours after the explosions allowing people to give or receive information about those affected or to offer up housing to people who were in town for the Marathon but no longer have anywhere to stay after hotels were evacuated or their reservations ended.
It is easy to focus on the destruction and whoever is responsible for it, but don’t forget to look at all the good that has been done by real life heroes after the bombs went off.
Yes there are a lot of sickos out there, but after seeing the response from all those on the scene and in the area, it’s clear there is a lot of good out there too—don't forget that.
Want to help out those hurt in Boston or in an area near you? Find out where you can donate blood at www.redcrossblood.org.