Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Lingxi Lu
Krystle Campbell
Martin Richard
Sean Collier

The 264 injured.

Yesterday, the city of Boston observed the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.  We paid tribute to those names I just listed as well as the first responders, medical personnel, physical therapists, rehabilitation specialists, and the overall generosity of people in New England and around the planet.  Even the Red Sox were acknowledged.

This I understand.   I understand how beautiful a thing it is to watch Keith Lockhart conduct the greatest orchestra in the world.  I understand the pride I feel seeing Tom Menino carry a binder with my alma mater on the cover, right before giving that awesome, yet barely-intelligible speech.  I understand being quiet at 2:49 says something to so many so far away.

I do not understand how a 14 year old girl in the Netherlands conceives the idea of tweeting a terrorist threat to American Airlines.  I do not comprehend her thought-process of valuing her popstar fan-account over scaring ordinary people.  I do not understand her race-laden apologies or how she planned on hiding all of this from her parents - when the Netherlands police came to arrest her.

I do not understand how a 25 year old male from Wakefield thinks to put a rice-cooker inside a backpack and place it on the Marathon finish line the very same day we were honoring victims.  I don't understand why I wanted to know his name.  In fact, I wanted *EVERYONE* to know his name.  I wanted every school administrator, every bartender, every cabbie, every person he would ever interact with in New England to know his name.

Is that strong?

I won't blame the waitress for any unexpected delays for his food order.  That's reactionary.  Private businesses have the right to cater to their clientele.  I can't fault the clerk at the 7-11 for not accepting his money and asking him to kindly leave the store.  I can't find any wrongdoing when so many exhausted MBTA riders with aching knee joints can't find the strength to give up their seat for him.

It's petty.  It feels good.  *SO* good.  But it is petty.

Boston Strong means acknowledging this.  Accepting this.  Just one MORE thing on top of everything else to put behind us.  He will have his day in court.  Justice will be meted.

I don't understand how it feels to be ashamed of your child.  That unfortunate family in Wakefield must be inundated with phone calls and news crews.  If it were me, I would apologize profusely on camera for what happened, state how great a country it is to have freedom of expression, and reaffirm my love for my child - even though we do not understand each other.

We'll all put this behind us, taking another step farther away from this while getting closer to the finish line.  I've never wanted a Monday to come so badly.

No comments: