Be aware, there are adult words in here, for very adult events. Turn back if four-letter words bother you more than terrorism. That makes no sense to me. Maybe it does to you.
For all who have been living under rocks, things here in Boston have been astounding over the course of the past week. If it were a film script, it would never be made. No one would believe it.
On Monday, April 15th, 2013, the unthinkable happened, when two bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Three people died, and nearly 180 were wounded, many gravely.
Then, going from Thursday, April 18th at night, into about 24 hours later, Friday, April 19th, at about 8:40 PM, there was a lockdown and a manhunt here. To give you an idea of how close it all was, check out this map – I can scarcely fathom it. And I have friends, former colleagues, who were even closer, people who heard shots and explosions.
This is reality.
But I want to put in what, to me, is a bit of perspective, I hope.
Destruction and Despair
There are plenty of horrible images and I will, mainly, not focus on them.
But this image should tell the tale of Friday. We, like most people, did as requested and stayed in our home.
I took maybe 20 minutes at about lunchtime and sat on my front porch. I saw a guy walking his dog and another getting a smoke. Plus maybe three cars went by.
And that was it.
I firmly believe that staying out of law enforcement’s collective way was vital in not just keeping bystanders from being harmed but also in the swift conclusion to the manhunt. Also, I will not publicize the alleged (yes, alleged; I believe in the right to a fair trial) perp’s name.
Hope and Glory
There are a lot of images and words and I cannot possibly cover them all so I will cherry pick a few.
Neil Diamond and Sweet Caroline
So Neil Diamond hopped on a plane yesterday morning at 4:30 AM.
He just showed up, 40 minutes before the Red Sox game was to start, and asked if he could sing “Sweet Caroline“.
Sure thing, Neil.
David Ortiz (who never made more sense than at this very moment)
David Ortiz got on a microphone and dropped the f-bomb on live TV. The FCC shrugged and said the equivalent of, hey, no sweat.
Ortiz, I am sure, did not plan what he would say. He just spoke from his heart.
And I am sure most of us agree with him and aren’t about to hold the f-bomb against him. I know I don’t.
People care. And they have expressed their caring in some amazing and offbeat, quirky ways. These are the ways that make the most sense to them.
Always & Forever
The Always & Forever Tattoo Salon in Watertown has a sidewalk memorial going. Add to it, if you like.
There are multiple fundraisers going on. The big one is OneFundBoston. This charity was started by Mayor Menino and Governor Patrick and is of course legitimate.
The local running club, the Brighton Bangers, held a fundraiser, too.
Memory and Healing
I refuse to provide the names of the alleged perps. But I will gladly share the names of the lost and the injured.
This young woman was 29. She was a restaurant manager at Jasper White’s Summer Shack and mainly worked in Hingham and Cambridge, putting in 70- and 80-hour weeks.
I celebrated my 50th birthday at the Cambridge location last September, and may very well have seen her.
This MIT police officer lost his life in the Thursday night shootout. Boston Police stood at attention with respect as his hearse passed, remembering this young man who gave his all.
This young woman was a graduate statistics student at Boston University, my alma mater.
The wildly generous trustees of Boston University have already raised over half a million dollars for a scholarship in her name.
This eight-year-old child was wiser than most of us, eh? His father, mother and sister were also hurt. So please remember them, too.
This young man‘s image was all over the news, as Carlos Arredondo helped get him to safety and care. Some images were cropped. Others showed the full extent of the awful damage to his legs. This site is a legitimate fundraising site to help pay for his care.
If you want to send him a card, send it to:
In care of Jen Joyce
for Jeff Bauman
117 Tynsboro Rd.
Westford, MA 01886
Celeste and Sydney Corcoran
These women are mother and daughter, and they were both hurt (Celeste has more extensive injuries). So there is a legitimate fund to help with their care.
This police officer and Navy veteran was wounded in the Thursday night gunfight. So here is a legitimate fundraising site for him.
Patrick and Jessica Downes
These newlyweds each lost a leg. This is a legitimate fundraising site to help pay for their care.
So he is neighbor to a friend who lives in Stoneham. And this young roofer has already lost one leg, and there is shrapnel in his heart. There is a legitimate fund to help him, too.
I have loved Boston ever since I attended BU (I am from the Class of ’83) and am also a runner (but only 5K races – marathons are too long for me). Many of these directly affected people are second and third degree of separation from me. I cannot begin to describe just how personal it all feels, and I know that my feelings are rather small within the scope of this immense tragedy.
So I leave you with this image –
and with this song.