Look at the number of people with their backs to the camera here — running to help others who were injured in the twin blasts at yesterday’s Boston Marathon. The image isn’t terribly clear because it was taken from a video shot by CBS News. But you can see the blast and the people running toward it.
No one here was thinking about politics. As President Obama said last night, there were no Republicans or Democrats here.
In the lower image, look at the number of people not in uniform. One of those volunteers was a man who lost a son in Iraq and then lost another son to suicide. He turned his grief into heroism yesterday.
My first thought was of the people in the first big city I went to as a child. I grew up about 30 miles outside of Boston and went there countless times for Red Sox games and church youth rallies. I love Boston, with its amazing history and its maze of streets that once were Native American trails through the forest. Just walking the streets makes me think of my ancestors, the founders of this nation.
Last night, I wondered what they would have thought of the reaction to the bombing.
Less than a half hour after the blasts, someone on Facebook posted that he believed it was Muslims and that he was sure the filthy liberal Democrats would try to pin the blame on the Tea Party. I un-friended him immediately. It is one of the few times I have done that.
I appreciate different points of view, when shared in a civil manner, and I have a number of friends who share my views on very few things. We remain friends because we hope we can learn from each other. If things get nasty, I un-friend. As I said, it has happened very few times.
But yesterday’s bombing wasn’t about Democrats and Republicans — or maybe it was, but I refuse to make it that way until the perpetrator and motives are discovered and revealed.
I don’t know who built the bombs and I don’t know what kind of statement the person was trying to make with this wretched act of violence, but I am not going to try and assign blame until I know more. Yes, I have thoughts on the matter, but I will not talk about them because if I’m wrong, the comments would only be hurtful.
In this day of saying what’s on our minds with no filters imposed, of tweeting and posting without thinking before we put crap out into the ether, perhaps it’s best to learn to shut up once in awhile, to keep some thoughts private.
Right now, my thoughts and prayers are with the people whose lives have been shattered by this tragedy and with my beloved Boston.
It would be nice if all of us tried to do the same thing.