“Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.”Dr. Joseph Warren, 1775
|Photo via the Warren Tavern's|
The quote that they used is a personal favorite of mine. It has had many deep meanings in my own life, but has taken on even more after Monday's cowardly attacks. Like all Americans, I'm still reeling from this, trying to put together thoughts and understand what all it truly means. While the casualty-rate is nowhere near as high, there is still that same feeling of pain that accompanied 9/11. We don't yet know what kind of terrorism this is, but I'd wager that there is no question in anyone's mind - even before the government officially called it so - that this is terrorism. I'm certainly no expert, but I do understand that the explosives found to have been used are at least very similar to those used against American soldiers in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. With that understanding comes the knowledge that we may have just been hit at home again in a foreign-based terrorist attack. We have been insurmountably blessed that in the nearly twelve years that have followed 9/11 that we have seen relatively few attacks from our enemies in such a way (some that were not labeled as an act of terror), but in times like these we remember, much as Dr. Warren said 238 years ago, our enemies are numerous and powerful.
|Image via The Washington Post|
|Image via the Boston Globe|
There is a darkness that may threaten and a pain that will linger and it should linger. We should not forget, as those that were on the front lines of this horrific event cannot forget.
Even in the darkness there are beams of light. If Joseph Warren ever called for Americans to act worthy of themselves, he would have seen it on Monday. I've never personally been out to the marathon (I tend to stay away from running if I can help it), but after watching a video I got a better idea of how the crowd control was set up, therefore a better idea of what happened. It looks like the bomb went off from right in front of the barricades with the people pressed up on the barricades themselves. When the blasts went off - with the understanding that most Americans have nowadays that there could be more to follow - fellow runners, medics, police officers, and others on the scene flooded to help. They tore away obstacles and saved lives. They put aside their own safety to help others. They helped people into wheel chairs when the ambulances couldn't get in and they carried people out.
|Image via ABC News|
Boston, our prayers and thoughts are with you. You have shown what it meant to act worthy of yourselves and I think you've shown what can truly be called the American Spirit.