Apr. 15th, 2013

Anger

Apr. 15th, 2013 10:03 pm
fredrikegerman: (hat)
My shock at the Marathon Bombings has given way to an undirected anger. I suppose in the absence of a direction to point that anger I will have to hold it in reserve.

I walked over to Mass Ave and Commonwealth Ave with three colleagues from Google – part of our Reach the Beach Relay team – to cheer on a fellow team member as he passed by (Matt finished in 2:45, faster than I could ever dream of). We knew some other friends and colleagues were still out there on the course, but it was a work day and we had to head back.

It was just before a 3PM meeting that I heard that there was talk of explosions at the finish line of the Marathon. I was pretty worried and more than a bit distracted through the meeting; by the time we got out at 4PM it was clear things were pretty bad.

[livejournal.com profile] desireearmfeldt phoned me to tell me that my mother had called; I was still pretty shaken at the time, and told her I'd just found out about what had happened. She was a bit surprised, as she'd thought I was at work; I explained that a few of us had decided to head out at lunchtime to cheer. Then I chatted with Mum while trying to make a nice calming cup of tea. A co-worker was tapping away at her laptop and looking as distressed as I must have looked myself. I told her I still didn't know if everyone was all right. It was over an hour later before I felt comfortable that everyone I knew was safe.

Three images from the subsequent coverage really stick with me. The first is the overhead picture of the empty, blood-spattered sidewalk in front of Marathon Sports which drives home the enormity (I mean enormity, not enormousness) of the act. Second was this video of the blast and its immediate aftermath taken from the finish line. I was astonished at how quickly the crowd flees the blast site. But I was even more struck by the sight of the first responders immediately leaping the barricades, and ultimately working to tear them down so that they can get help to the injured.

The final image, the hardest to take, has been suitably edited by the media. It shows a victim, ashen grey, being rushed from the scene in a wheelchair by a cop and what look like a couple of race volunteers. The original image (widely circulated but not linked here) makes it clear that he has lost both his legs, horrifically.

One of the prices of living in a free society is that from time to time it is possible for the crazies to perpetrate this sort of madness. I hope that they are brought to justice. I hope that the justice that is meted out prevents the next round of crazies. And I hope against hope that we do not lose our freedoms in a vain attempt to keep those crazies at bay.

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