I'm not even sure what to write. I just feel the need to get something down.
My hometown experienced a terrorist attack today. It hasn't been officially described as such yet, but when someone, or a group of someones, regardless of their beliefs, country of origin, religion, what have you, decide to hurt as many innocent people as possible, that's terrorism. Targeting school kids, college students, marathon runners (many of whom were running for charity), and nearly 1 1/2 million people who showed up merely to cheer on a beloved tradition.
This was a holiday in Massachusetts. Patriot's Day. The Boston Marathon is THE marathon for a lot of runners. People come from every part of the world to take part, and the world's elite runners compete.
When I lived in Boston I would sometimes go to a spot along the route and cheer the runners on. I never went to the finish line because it was too crowded. And it's only grown in popularity since then.
There's plenty of security, but there are no metal detectors. No one checks backpacks, as so many students come to watch (there are about a dozen colleges and universities in the immediate vicinity), and it's always been a relaxed, happy occasion. Schools are closed, as are government offices and banks, the post office, etc. So there are A LOT of people about.
And whoever did this knew that. They targeted all those people. They planned to hurt and KILL as many as possible. 3 are dead, possibly including an 8 year-old boy. Others have life-threatening injuries, while still others have lost limbs. Imagine being a marathon runner and losing a leg.
But...this attack was a failure. It failed because as soon as the first bomb exploded, first responders, volunteers, and doctors began running TOWARDS the sight in order to help the injured. Marathoners who were further away from the finish line immediately changed course, ran to Mass General hospital, and lined up to donate blood. Spectators ripped off their shirts to stop the bleeding of injured people near them, while others picked up complete strangers and carried them to triage tents. Tonight, thousands of Bostonians are going on Facebook and Twitter and opening their homes, offering places for people to stay until they get back to where they live. The good people of Boston proved, once again, that there is more good in the world than evil.
While there are some pointing fingers, most of us are too busy figuring out what we can do to help. Even if it's simply offering up a prayer or a good thought.
My mom was in her office, a couple of miles north of the explosion. She's fine, thank G-d. My friend from school ran the marathon, and had just turned the corner onto Boyleston Street when the first bomb went off. He's OK, too. Thankfully.
I'm looking at the footage and seeing memories. The first ever sci-fi/comic book convention I attended was right around the corner from the explosion. I used to take the train to Copley Square to see movies and shop. Our school took numerous field trips to the BPL (Boston Public Library). I did performances at the church and at the Castle, and spent way more time than I should have window shopping on Newbury Street, and Newbury Comics was one of the few places I could buy "Doctor Who Magazine" back in the 80's.
This was my city. I felt a huge sense of pride being from Boston. Yes, I left in 1994, but it has been, and always will be, a part of me. And tonight I'm both heartbroken and prouder than ever to have grown up in Bahston.
I think President Obama said it perfectly when he called Boston "resilient." It's been through worse and come out strong, and it will again.
And I think that's a huge "F**K YOU" to the terrorists.
Which is just like a Bostonian.