Making Sense of the Senseless

The ION Game Corner was created as a celebration of the games and the fun and joy they bring and represent. The content on the site, the blogs and podcasts, generally keep to that concept. Sometimes though, something happens that regardless of your background or views, grips you and takes center stage.

By now, I’m sure you are well aware of what happened in Boston yesterday. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I am going to offer an insight or opinion that you haven’t already heard or read elsewhere. This is merely my sounding board for the things going through my head in the aftermath of yesterday.

Yesterday morning, I laid in bed, enjoying my day off from work, watching the news coverage of the Boston Marathon. So many great stories about people who were running in the race and raising money for many great causes. I’m not a runner, clearly. I don’t really care who would win the race. Patriot’s Day in the city of Boston is just a great day. You have the Marathon, obviously. You also have an early game for the Boston Red Sox. It’s just a fun day of celebration.

Jamie suggested that we should take Ashleigh to the movies to go see The Croods. Ash was excited to go, so we hit the theater for a 2:00 showing. After the movie (which was good, if you’re wondering), Jamie was checking her phone and just looked at me and said that something had happened in Boston. I grabbed my phone and saw the news for myself.

When we got in the car, we turned the radio off. We didn’t want Ash (who is 8) to hear about what had happened, at least until we had a chance to figure it out for ourselves and figure out how to handle explaining it to her. I don’t really remember driving home. I was just really numb.

As it turns out, Jamie was going to ask me if I wanted to go into Boston to watch the race, but for whatever reason, never did. Those of you who know me well enough know that I am not a fan of crowds at all. I generally prefer to watch sporting events from home than live. However, there’s a good chance I would have said yes for them. A couple of years ago, she took Ash there for the race and watched from the finish line, right where the first bomb went off. I still can’t really wrap my head around the idea that we could have been right there. Hearing the reports that one of the victims killed yesterday was an 8-year-old, I’m sure I don’t need to finish that thought for you to understand it.

This morning, on my way to work, I heard Rich Shertenlieb of 98.5 The Sport’s Hub’s Toucher and Rich Show, describe the events from his perspective. The second explosion happened right in front of his building. Listening to his story about trying to get his family to safety while not knowing exactly what was going on was like a scene from a disaster movie. It was a surreal accounting.

Social media, in times like these, can be a blessing and a curse. It’s a way to get info very quickly and keep in contact with those that you care about. However, it’s also a way for misinformation to be spread. Once people find out what happened, they immediately want the answer to two questions: Who and why? When someone reports something, it then goes around and you get all of these reports that end up having to be shot down.

People were quick to jump to the idea of international terrorism and a report of a man from Saudi Arabia was being questioned while being treated in an area hospital only heightened those fears. I have to be honest, when I first started hearing the details of what had happened, I jumped to that conclusion. Right now, we don’t know the who or the why. It could just as easily end up being an evil born and bred on our own soil that perpetrated this atrocity.

This hits close to home to all of us in Massachusetts for obvious reasons. However, this wasn’t just an attack on Boston, or an attack on the United States. This was an attack on humanity. Whatever individual or group responsible, regardless of the reason, had no regard for human life. No matter where you come from or what you believe, that humanity (not in the sense of being humane, but of that of simply being human) is something that we all share. We were all attacked yesterday.

Despite the circumstances, like so many times in the past, people rally together in a crisis and the best of us come out in the face of the worst. The lasting image in my mind is of the videos of the explosions yesterday. Immediately after, there were so many people, police, fire, medical personnel, and others who just wanted to help, whose first reaction after seeing two explosions was not to run as far away from the area as possible. They ran right into the heart of the situation to come to the aide of those who needed it most. We throw around the word hero quite a bit. Yesterday, we saw heroes in the truest sense of the word.

When something like this happens, there are so many emotions that we all feel. Shock at what you are hearing or witnessing. Fear for those you care about and those you’ve never met before. Anger toward those who attack the order and good in our world. Pride in those who step forward in the face of tragedy and shine the light of humanity over the darkness of evil. While parts of each of those emotions are still with me right now, each passing second diminishes the first three and strengthen the last one.

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