Last week was rough on all of us around the world. Not just the bombings in Boston, but earthquakes and the factory explosion just turned it into a very, very bad week.
Today marked the one-week anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, and the first step towards moving forward. Physically, I am not capable of running like an average person. No matter how hard or long I train, it’s not an activity I can do. But I feel for those who won’t be able to any time soon. So I did an extra five minutes on the bike. Then another five. And another five.
I wasn’t directly affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. But as an American, I am deeply affected. It’s still personal, and still I grieve. Nobody hurts less because somebody else hurts more.
I was in high school when the World Trade Center went down. The images are still deeply imprinted on my brain, the 911 calls forever marked in my memory. I can’t look at newspaper clippings and images from that day. That day, my world collided with the real world—my bubble burst. Suddenly, I understood not everyone agrees with Western ideals.
And it happened again last Monday. The clips are on repeat, the images burned into memory, the stories, and just sadness. I’m a little older now, so I have a different outlook on life. This time, I looked for the helpers, just like Fred Rogers would do. The iconic cowboy who jumped in to help. The marathon runners that kept running, straight to the hospital so they could donate blood. An event in which its intended purpose is to tear us apart, brought us even closer together.
It doesn’t matter how many disagreements we may have with each other. It doesn’t matter if we believe in different Gods and ideals. It doesn’t matter what party you belong to, because we are all Americans. We’re the friend that comes over at 3am with ice cream even if you’re in the middle of a fight, because somebody needed us. That’s what I saw this time. I focused on that.
I saw it in the other events as well, like firefighters coming from hundred miles away to help put out the factory fire in West, Texas. They just did it because it was a good thing to do, the right thing to do.
There’s so much ugliness in the world; so many horrible tragedies that occur. But in the midst of all the horrible things; there’s that warm light, brightening as the world gets darker, proving there is still good out there in the world. And this is what will help us move forward.
We will never forget what happened that day. We are Americans, unafraid and unwavering. We are New York, we are Chicago, we are San Francisco, we are every inch our country, and today, we are Boston Strong. And we will heal, we will move forward, and we’ll be even stronger and more indivisible as a country.