What happened at the Boston Marathon? Certainly, events like Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line – which has reportedly killed three and injured nearly 150 by the latest numbers – has evoked its share of very emotional statements. Some are completely irrational; others are just very passionate but reasoned. Still others, especially be area and national media, are given in context of where we are in our society and our culture, as well as our history. Here, we compile a few opinions from around the media so you can understand and grasp the effect this event had not just on individuals, but on the Bostonian and national communities.
“No more complaints, please. No more gripes when you’re standing in line outside a game. … No more whining about having to wait 10 minutes for security frisking or wand-waving at a major sports event in the United States. No more grumbling about possibly missing a kickoff or tipoff. … The awfulness of Monday’s event at the Boston Marathon finish line will take awhile to process, to sort out and analyze thoroughly. But we do know this much: If any sports entity in our country was deciding whether to decrease its security budget and save a few bucks, that choice has now become very easy.”
“Social media are no longer a novelty when it comes to breaking news, which can be a blessing and a curse. … Mostly a blessing, mind you. Facebook and especially Twitter can provide on-the-ground reporting with an immediacy once unthinkable. They can also deliver rumors and false information in the time it takes to type 140 characters on a smartphone. … The horrific explosions at the Boston Marathon on Monday provided examples of both. But they also provided one of the first times I’ve seen the crowd on Twitter rise up together against false reports, to warn against being first at the expense of being right.”
“The explosions in Boston represent a terrible, random and deadly act. I am sure that all Americans, but especially Bostonians, are approaching today with a knot of fear and apprehension. Acting swiftly, the authorities are conducting interviews, sophisticated chemical forensics and other investigative techniques. But one factor today that was in its infancy in 1996 in Atlanta will dramatically assist the investigation: the video revolution.”
“Whoever was behind yesterday’s attack killed a few, wounded scores, and scared millions. There’s a term for this: asymmetrical warfare. An opponent with inferior resources, manpower, and technology can nevertheless inflict disproportionate damage on an enemy. The ultimate example of this concept, of course, was September 11, 2001, when 19 hijackers spending just $500,000 — well, you know what they did. But the true impact the 9/11 hijackers had went far beyond the physical damage they inflicted that day. September 11 caused us to burn through trillions on the two longest wars in our history, vastly expand our national security and intelligence bureaucracy, and give up a portion of our civil liberties.”
Some more opinions on what happened at the Boston Marathon:
“The ugliest acts can bring out the best in people. Some runners ran right into the Massachusetts General Hospital to donate blood for the bomb victims. They gave all they had for 26 miles, then found more to give from the well of goodwill.”
“I’m not a marathon runner. I don’t intend to ever run one. But I love the Boston Marathon. I love the imagery of it. I love the competition. I love the fact that numerous friends and some family members have raced in the sport’s biggest event. It would be like me, as a cyclist, getting to ride the Tour de France. Or a golf fan playing in the Masters. My wife is both a runner and a running coach. She knows what the Boston Marathon means to her athletes. It will never be the same.”
“It was a moment celebrating the things so many of us hold dear: sportsmanship, competition, community. … A perfect day at one of America’s iconic sporting events, the Boston Marathon. In a flash, and a column of smoke, all of it disappeared. Screams replaced cheers, carnage overtook accomplishment. Fifteen seconds later, another explosion two blocks away. And three hours later, a somber American president was standing before TV cameras, vowing justice. Haven’t we been here before?”
“As an American, I am proud of our ability as citizens to look past ourselves to help in times that are bigger than ourselves. But what about the numerous Americans who want to help, but aren’t allowed to? … I truly hate to diverge the spotlight from the Boston victims. However, the truth of the matter is they need our help — all of our help — but our current laws ban sexually active gay men from donating their blood. This is blood that could be crucial in helping save the lives of Boston victims. … According to CNN, blood donations were falling last summer with almost a 10 percent decline nationwide. I can’t help but wonder, as the article does too, if lifting the ban on blood donations from gay men would help stall that decline.”
To learn more about what happened at the Boston Marathon, see bystanders’ six unique vantage points here.