Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon 2013: The Human Spirit

It is a beautiful day to test your pace. It is a beautiful day to run a race. Such was the case on Monday as 23,000 of the 27,000 runners who qualified toed the start line at the famed Boston Marathon. It was a day to celebrate. Some of the best professionals in the world go to Boston to test themselves and each other. Even those in the back of the pack are faster than most people can ever wish to be. On Patriot's Day, all eyes are on Boston. The city shuts down to enjoy the midday Red Sox game and the running warriors going 26.2 miles. Someone or some others planned to mar the yearly festivities. Through the senseless act of terror, this person or these people succeeded. Yet, when people discuss Boston 2013, it will not only be remembered for this disgusted act of violence delivered to the victims, it will be remembered as a moment in time when once more, family, friends, and strangers stared fear in the face and displayed why good will forever triumph in the face of evil. The human spirit! Doctors, lawyers, machinists ran their race then jumped into action to help their fallen fellow runners. They put themselves in harm's way to ensure spectators, who just minutes prior were cheering loudly, would be taken to safety. Police and medical personnel are trained to go towards danger even as everyone else runs away from it. Yet, it never gets easier. Training and protocol can only prepare one so much. Nothing can truly prepare a human for seeing blood cover the streets, bodies ripped into pieces, or fear in the eyes of another person. When danger presents itself, none of that matters. All that matters is helping another human being as best as possible. Equally heroic are those individuals who do not have the professional training nor preparation, but throw caution to the wind as they jump into the danger to help. Runners who had just completed 26.2 miles were flying to the scene to carry folks into the medical tent. What possessed them to do so? The human spirit.

Those who lost their lives will never be forgotten. Those who lost their limbs will be forced to adjust to a new way of life. It will not be easy. Not every day will be a picnic. Not every day will be misery. They will have to confront good and bad days, but they shall over come because that is what the human spirit does. It can not be denied. No matter how physically or mentally strong one believes himself to be or not be, the human spirit is much stronger. Those runners, spectators, and first responders will forever be connected. In the same way each member of society is connected. Whatever political or religious view whatever gender whatever occupation in whatever nation, all human beings are more similar than many believe. On days like April 15, 2013, the eyes of the world turn to Boston. They do not just witness a marathon. They do not witness chaos caused by terror. They witness the human spirit on display as evidence that as a society good will forever triumph over evil. The human spirit will never be denied.

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