On Monday, it happened again. Most of us students are members of the 9/11 generation, and after two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, we were immediately taken back to the attacks that happened during our formative years. Though, thankfully, the casualty count appears to be much lower than that fateful day, Monday was marked with the same uncertainty and fear.
Once again, we were sick to our stomachs as we learned about another senseless loss of life. Information, not all accurate, spread through social media sites, as those of us safe in Providence got a glimpse of the fear felt by friends, alums and family members who were near the marathon.
When these events happen, we realize how quickly an event of celebration and community can turn to one of terror and tragedy. We do not yet know the full scope of the injuries and lives lost, nor do we know who was responsible. All we know is what we saw: the gruesome images, the pleas for help and the threat of more events that could wreak havoc upon a city.
One child has been lost. This has certainly been a year marked with tragic incidents, a year in which we questioned the fundamentals of our society. Coming on the heels of December’s school shooting in Newtown, this event is even more heartbreaking. If we cannot be safe at a marathon, an event both steeped in history and representative of the modern vibrant city of Boston, where can we be protected?
As we mourn those lost, heal those injured and help the city of Boston recover, we can take comfort in the spirit of humanity that shone through Facebook, Twitter and other sources. There were declarations of love and thanks as we reconnected with long-lost friends who shared their experiences. People opened up their homes to strangers off the street. We saw the resources of the Internet used to locate missing runners and comfort frantic families. Responders ran into the carnage to help the injured.
The marathons began in ancient Greece, the cradle of Western civilization, and have long celebrated human physical achievement. NBC News reported that some runners who completed the marathon ran straight to Massachusetts General Hospital, where they gave blood to help the wounded.
On Monday, we saw the marathon transformed from an emblem of human physical perfection to one of humanity itself. We have every confidence that Boston will return stronger than before, and we will do everything in our power to help our neighbors in the north. Until then, we offer comfort to those grieving, hope for speedy recovery for those injured and send our thoughts and prayers to everyone affected.
Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board: its editor, Dan Jeon, and its members, Mintaka Angell, Samuel Choi, Nicholas Morley and Rachel Occhiogrosso. Send comments to email@example.com.
A previous version of this editorial incorrectly stated that two children had died in the explosions. In fact, one child died.