“A bomb just went off at the Boston Marathon,” my roommate said. I had been watching a TV show, and the rest of my roommates had also been on their computers, but Lauren happened to be watching her Twitter feed. From that point on, we were all glued to our feeds to find more information…and scrambling to get in contact with our friends.
I’m not a Boston student, but Wheaton College is only about 30 minutes away from Boston. Some of my friends were there. A lot of my friends from high school went to school in Boston; they were in the area, too. It was heartbreaking to see everyone’s statuses; people abroad, frantically, “please let me know if you’re okay, please please” and people there, “i’m safe, but i’m not allowed to text.”
I’m in London at the moment, and I don’t even live in Boston, but during the disaster, I felt fiercely for the city. It’s always been Providence’s “big brother” to me, and I’ve been there countless numbers of times. When I went to bed, the toll of injured people had risen to 64, and the dead included an 8-year-old. I was horrified. People on these social media fights were picking fights, or spouting nonsense, or making swift accusations. Confusion and aggression was rife. How could someone do this, especially at a marathon, where runners have been working towards the euphoria of passing the finish line for months? How could someone do this on the 26th and final mile, which was dedicated to the families of the Newtown victims, who sat in the VIP box and were right by the bombs?
But it’s important to remember that the good people in the world outnumber the bad. Some runners crossed the finish line and continued to run to the nearest hospital to give blood. Some people ran towards the screams to help out those in need. Because people were encouraged not to text, Google reacted swiftly by creating a Person Finder for people lost or searching. Bostonians offered their houses as shelter to runners who had no place to go because of the many hotel closures. Boston is an inspiring city, a strong community.
I’d encourage all readers in the Boston area to donate blood if they can. Don’t contribute to the hearsay about suspects until the Boston Police Department has confirmed. Keep an open mind, and remember that love triumphs.