There’s probably not much to write about yesterday’s events in Boston, the place I called home for five years, that hasn’t been written already by somebody far more articulate than me. And given that I didn’t sleep last night because I’m shaken up by looking at way too many pictures of the blown-out windows on the optical store I went to for checkups, I’m particularly unlikely to write anything insightful.
But I do want to speak to the experience that yesterday’s athletes missed out on, which, while not nearly as profound as the tragedy that struck those injured in the bombing or their families, is a real loss. Some missed the opportunity to fully celebrate what they’d worked months for, others never even had the opportunity to finish. Still others were right at the finish line during the explosion and undoubtedly experienced psychological trauma of their own, even if they left the scene without physical injury.
While some may say that it’s thoughtless to even think about this loss, or for one to take pride in their performance yesterday, in light of the events, remember the following:
There will be births – many - on September 11, for years to come.
Any year that December 7 falls on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, plenty of people will get married that day, even though it marks the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
March 11? Job promotions will happen, and appropriately celebrated, while memorials of the 20,000 Japanese who perished on that date in 2011 continue at the same time.
On April 20, a Saturday this year, many people will compete in previously scheduled athletic events – no disrespect to the 12 people who were murdered in a gunfire massacre at Columbine High School 14 years ago.
Boxing Day is observed on December 26 in many countries, and that didn’t cease after 2004 when over 200,000 people died in the aftermath of a tsunami in South Asia.
And I’ll bet that on October 6 of this year, many of you will go out to brunch on Sunday and relax, possibly giving a short, passing thought to the start of the Yom Kippur War on that date 40 years ago.
In other words, tragic events never cease. But neither does life. It can’t.
So if you had a great race yesterday, or if one of your friends did, it’s ok to take pride in it and enjoy the moment. And to continue on with life as we want and dream to live it, because it’s the only option.
Even on Patriots’ Day 2014.