In Boston yesterday, the tragedy was awful, but it was tempered by “the helpers”. Knowing they are out there takes away my fear.
Imagine that one minute you’re sitting around joking with your friends, and the next minute a bomb rips through your world. Your only impulse is to run to get the hell out of there. But that’s not what you’re trained to do. You’re trained to go in and help, find out what happened, comfort people, apply medical skills. These people ruled the day amidst the tragedy yesterday.
There was Carlos Arrendondo, the cowboy hat wearing peace activist, who was in one of the most graphic photos released yesterday, holding tight to a tourniquet which was keeping a blast victim from bleeding out.
Please be warned that Carlos is covered in blood in this interview, if that makes you squeamish…
Carlos’ broken English probably pushes the limits of people without patience, but his back story is nothing short of tragic. You wonder if he wasn’t meant to save someone’s life.
His oldest son was killed in Iraq, and upon hearing the news, he set himself on fire in front of the Marines sent to tell him. They saved his life by dousing the flames. Still, he is burned over 30 percent of his body.
Years later, his other son committed suicide over the pain of losing his brother. Carlos was at the Marathon because that son’s friends were running the Marathon in his name.
The cover of this morning’s Boston Globe shows people from all walks of life, stooping over bodies on blood red sidewalks, helping people they do not know. That is my takeaway from this. That in times of trouble, we have become twice as resilient as we were before 9/11.
And though it seems at time that the world is spinning out of control, it really isn’t. That barbarians and the mentally ill now have to stage big productions to get big news coverage means we are actually moving more toward good. I truly believe that.
I’ll leave you with this little essay from Jeb Golinkin at The Week:
I do not possess the requisite skill to express what I am feeling right now. But I know this: A marathon is ultimately a test of toughness and resolve. Those who run them typically do so to prove to themselves that they can fight through great adversity and still prevail. This nation’s history shares the same spirit that the marathon showcases, and as we always have, we will prevail. We will mourn our dead, help our wounded, bring the criminals who committed this heinous act to justice. America will not quit. It will not stop running. And the Boston Marathon will not go away.