Aside from sleep and a few errands I have had the TV on most of the last 2 days. Granted I was working and having the news coverage on as background, but still it was quite the experience to follow the events as they unfolded in Boston and Texas. Of course, I also had twitter up and would check it on every so often (I love twitter, sometimes they got news before the tv).
After having a tense week personally and in the world I felt pretty drained but around 6:30 I heard about the fertilizer plant explosion and was horrified so I turned on the news. Then came the update of a shooting at MIT. I thought ‘you have got to be kidding me’. Sucked in I watched until around 2 am as the scene moved from MIT, to Watertown, to a dramatic near-battlefield in the streets with explosions and loud gunshots. It was unreal.
The whole time I kept having to remind myself that this was not an episode of 24 and Jack Bauer was not about to save the day (someone on twitter did comment that between yesterday and today it has been like an entire season of 24. True story). I kept praying and hoping as if I could send good vibes to the officers (the great thing about twitter is you kind of can. How neat to be able to thank the officers through a tweet!).
Finally I went to sleep and in the morning there was news of the brothers with their eery photos with the one being killed in the gunfire. This was a new kind of terrorist. They looked so young, so American…A side of me wondered what I would do if I saw someone like that. I would be scared out of my mind. Just the whole house arrest thing for an entire city blew my mind. How terrifying! I mean they cancelled the Red Sox game!
Next I heard about the officer at MIT who was shot and killed. I thought of the campus security at BYU and how the greatest danger they come in contact with is jaywalking. It is a tragedy. No getting around it.
Then came the reaction of the shooters family and especially the uncle gave quite the press conference. When asked why his nephews had done this he said ‘because they are LOSERS’. I loved that. No parsing words or saying they were misdirected or upset or even crazy. They were losers. I agree.
The afternoon I had to go out for work and to take my car to the mechanic and when I got home there was news of the officers detonating an explosive device and of door to door searches and Boston looking like a ghost town. Finally around 6:30 they announced the seek shelter warning had been lifted and they were ‘back to where they were on Monday’. My heart sank. I thought of how as the days got greater the easier it was for this person to blend in, to hide, and what if there were others?
My internet buddy was at the marathon and she posted the most heart-wrenching artwork by her sons when she arrived home. One of them said ‘Welcome home. I’m glad you weren’t in that explosion XO. I love you!’ Another had a drawing of her finishing and ‘bad guys’ in the corner with explosion behind their mom. It looked like a super hero if there ever was one. (I would post the artwork but it seemed kind of private so I’ll just describe).
Anyway, the human element of this case had me transfixed. Normally even the most dramatic news ends up being a lot of the same information repeated again and again but today every time I listened there was something new. I ate some dinner, made banana bread and then the announcement of the lift on the ban happened and I was just about to turn to watching TLC bride day (quite the contrast!) when a reporter started shouting about more gunfire and the news that suspect #2 has been located but is putting up a fight. Holy cow!
As soon as I heard this I said a quick ‘yes’ but I was still worried that more people would be hurt.By the way, You’ve got to give a lot credit to the family that called about the boat. That took guts (all those associated have serious courage. Amazing). It was that guts, that human courage, the human drama which had me riveted to the TV, hoping good would win and that evil would be stopped.
It took what seemed like another half hour, maybe an hour, for the robot to go in, check everything out and then just to the left of the camera I could hear an officer say ‘We got’em’. I really did want to cheer. It was like I had gone on this journey with them emotionally and we had won. I know I did nothing but I’m just saying for the first nanosecond that’s how it felt.
Now he’s in surgery at the same hospital as many of his victims. We certainly have been better to him than he was to us. I am so grateful for all the men and women who keep me safe whether it is in the armed forces or police/fire/coast guard/military. They put their life on the lines and are true heroes.
Since the attack happened on Monday I have heard people say things like ‘this happens all the time and nobody cares in Iran’ or ‘I guess we only get sad when white people are attacked’ and I find these types of comments (especially the last one) to be annoying and offensive. For years the United States was the most peaceful nation in the world. Aside from the war of 1812, we had almost no international conflicts or wars for the first 140 or so years of our countries existence. Of course we had a little thing called the Civil War in between there but we have always been hesitant to pursue war with other lands.
Some may argue with Vietnam and Iraq we have lost that reputation and they may be right; however, I still think it helps explain why such events are so surprising compared with other countries. The fact is we see each other as a peaceful, loving, democratic republic and who wants to harm such noble endeavors?
Well, clearly some do. It feels shocking for goodness to be attacked by evil. It just does. Especially when you are talking about an 8 year old boy cheering on his mother and is killed. Also, I will not apologize for feeling more for my fellow countrymen when they are mercilessly killed and maimed in such a peaceful enterprise as a marathon.
Also, as a human being I cannot absorb all the sadness of the world. I can only take so much. If I internalized every tragedy which happened around the world I’d have a breakdown.
I still about had a breakdown on Wednesday. It was a very stressful day and I slept about 3 hours that night. (Got kind of worked up over everything happening in the world and my own life. Felt very tense).
Once the suspect was in custody everyone cheered and applauded and I was right with them! Hurrah! Just awesome. Next, I heard the President speak and I thought he was great. You might be surprised to hear me say that but no matter who the president is I appreciate hearing from them in moments of trial and intensity.
It’s interesting because I can’t say I learned anything from my 2 days of news absorption but I feel at peace and an enthusiasm for justice and our wonderful citizens than I did at the beginning of the week.
I am so grateful for all involved including the reporters. Their coverage was a great gift to me. Thanks also for all the twitterers who kept me almost more up to date than the news. So great!
Now let’s not let these evil people steal our confidence in our fellow man. Let’s not allow him to take away our comfort-level in going to group sporting events, movies, schools or churches. They can’t win! I agree with the president ‘we will not be terrorized’. (and no hell has not frozen over because I just agreed with the president!).
So, its been a long couple of days and I’m exhausted. (After Newtown and this Boston area needs a break. Maybe we should just all vote to give the Red Sox the pennant 😉 ).
All involved in the tragedy will be and have been in my thoughts and prayers. It was just awful. I’ve felt bad about it all week. It’s evil incarnate and I am so grateful that this time good conquered evil. Same thoughts and prayers go out to the people in Texas as well. What a week we’ve had!
The drama thank goodness is over. Goodnight! (sorry if this was a little rambling. I’m super tired.