The Aftermath

When someone sets off a bomb in any major city, it’s devastating.  When it happens at an event attended by thousands of people, it’s even more devastating.  When it happens in the city that you live in close proximity to, and have lived near and loved your entire life, it hits really close to home.

People have been comparing the bombings at the Boston Marathon to the attacks that happened 12 years ago on the Twin Towers in New York.  While an act of terrorism, I don’t think they’re quite on the same level.  Terrible, yes, but thousands of people died in New York all those years ago.  To say Boston was lucky would downplay the severity of what happened, but it could have been much much worse.

Over the last week I’ve watched and listened as updates came up, first with the bombing, and subsequently with the chase that ensued late Thursday night into Friday.

I’ve never been one to watch the news.  When I was a kid, my parents would put the news on during dinner and I’d sit with my back to it, ignoring it.  But yesterday I spent from 7am to just shy of 9pm watching the news.

Once the second suspect was apprehended (which I saw on Twitter before the news aired it), I shut the TV off and sighed deeply with relief.  I didn’t watch Mayor Menino talk about all the hard work of everyone involved.   I didn’t listen to the State Police Colonel congratulate his entire team.  Once I knew that everything was over, I disconnected.

I saw this morning that they’d taken the second suspect to a local hospital for treatment, but beyond that I don’t know what else has happened.  I don’t think it much matters anymore.  Now that he’s been caught, we’ll get whatever information we can out of him.  But I think that should be for his spotlight.  His fifteen minutes of fame have come and gone, and I don’t think we should pay any more attention to him.

The 65,000+ people who started following him on Twitter in the last 3 days should stop.  I don’t think he’ll be updating anyone on anything from prison, where presumably he’ll be for the next couple of decades.

The real question, though, is why?  I think that’s what we all want to know.

All of the interviews with aunts and uncles and college classmates have led to no answers.  His family has said that they cut ties with the brothers months ago.  Students from UMass Dartmouth (where the younger brother went to school) all said they’d never expect this from him, and that he was a nice and normal guy.

Will we get an answer to why this happened?  I doubt it.  I’m extremely glad that this whole ordeal is over.  I know many people that live in Watertown, and I’m glad they’re all safe and sound.  Am I glad that he was captured alive? Yes, absolutely.  Do I feel like we, as a city and state, would have been sufficed if the police had killed him? No, not even a little.

Can we get back to normal now? No, I don’t think so. At least not right away. It’s going to be a while before we feel safe again, before we can go out at night and not look at people suspiciously.    It’ll be months, if not years, before we don’t have heightened security at public events.  It’ll be years, if not decades, of people talking about what happened on Monday and the events that followed.

We’re Boston.  We’re tough, we’re resilient, we’re hardasses.  Will we let this keep us down? Not a chance.  It’ll just take some time for us to bounce back, get back on our feet, and get back to life as we know it.

The next time you’re out somewhere, and you see a police officer, fire fighter, EMT, or anyone else that could have possibly been involved in any of the horrible things that happened in Boston in the last week — thank them.  Buy them a beer, pay for their dinner, do something nice for them.  They’re the reason we’re safe.  They put their lives on the line every day to keep us that way, and they deserve to know that without them, we’d all be screwed.

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