Bombing a Marathon

April 17, 2013


Boston Marathon Bomb Detonates

The Bomb Blasts End the Boston Marathon; Yet They Spark the Human Spirit.

On Monday, 15 April 2013, two explosive devices detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing, as of this writing, three individuals including a child, and maiming nearly two hundred more.

If the purpose of the bombing was to foment extreme sadness and confusion at a joyful and celebratory event, that box can be checked.

I must note, as an EMT, that the healing process in this tragedy, as exemplified by the greatness of the human spirit, emerged before the rumble of the blasts had echoed away.

First responders, police, EMT, and firefighters, as well as many brave civilians, ran immediately to aid the fallen.  There were athletes who went from the course directly to area hospitals to donate blood for survivors.

In no way would I minimize the physical and emotional trauma suffered by participants, healers, and indeed, the nation and the world.  And yet the great human spirit, the spirit which demonstrates caring empathy for stricken strangers, is very much alive.

Armed conflict has been kin to the Marathon race since its beginning.  Phidippides, the original runner, logged a total of 300 miles and one battle in full armor before succumbing to exhaustion.  It is for his final 26 mile run that he is best remembered.  He arrived at Athens not only to share news of the Greek victory at Marathon, but also to bring a warning that the defeated Persian force was regrouping to attack Athens.   With time to prepare, the Greeks of Athens won that next battle as well.

The victory and the warning; we forget the second part of Phidippides’ message.  The human spirit is always vying with petty monsters for supremacy.  And it always triumphs.  For goodness is always ready to meet and vanquish evil with might, yes, but also with the overwhelming force of love.