Halfway between Newtown CT and the Boston Marathon

The Very Best of Youth Sports

IT’S MARATHON DAY!!!!!!! Going out to run my 26 minutes~~~
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I posted this comment this morning, thinking it was pretty funny.  And now a mere 12 hours later, we will never think about the Boston Marathon (any marathon perhaps) the same way again.

I live in a town midway between Boston, MA and Newtown, CT.  Both are now sites of unimaginable, unanticipated, tragedy. Both were beautiful sunny days, days to be celebrated.  Instead, today, once again, our televisions are full of news broadcasts, replays of the horrific ordeal and guesses as to the who, the why, the how.  With just a mere four months between them, it makes you wonder if this will become normalized, will we come to expect tragedy at any time, for any reason?

Family and friends are running/watching a time honored tradition in Boston, one I have attended countless times myself.  Photos of the first blast are taken directly in front of the building I watched the Marathon from numerous times.  Our next door neighbor and seven other high school seniors took a group photo not 20 feet from the bomb blast.  The picture is posted to Facebook and sent our little town, halfway in between, into a tailspin.  Thankfully they wandered away before the blast and they are safe.

My children were toddlers during 9/11, we were at a playgroup at the airbase where the jets departed to try and intercept the planes that had struck the towers. Our children don’t know a world without terrorism and I worry that they accept it as normal. They believe, for the most part, that the world is good and safe and that life will go on.  I can’t help but think that our children don’t really know what is good and more importantly, what a safe world looks like.

“Level One Mobilization” is what the news is saying now.  “Don’t say terrorism, you’ll scare the public.”  The President vows “to find out who did this”.  “Are the perpetrators foreign?”  “One of the victims is an 8 year old child.” The stock markets are plummeting.   They are telling us to be “alert and vigilant”.  “Homeland security – all cities on a heightened state of alert.”  Meanwhile the video streams endless pictures of fear and suffering.

558858_10151855786024815_1762904206_nI grew up with Mr. Rogers and I do like his sentiment.  The heroics of the first responders, “the helpers” are unbelievable today.  Firefighters, police and medical personnel ran towards the blast and for this we are grateful and proud.

I’m not really sure why I write this except that writing seems to be how I process tragedy.  In the days following 9/11, I wrote letters to my children as a way to assure myself that things would be okay (the letters are in envelopes to be opened at some later date).  Perhaps by writing it down and sealing it up, this will never happen again.  I was wrong, it is happening with alarming frequency and these past two events are ever so close to home.  I live halfway between Newtown and Boston….


7 responses to “Halfway between Newtown CT and the Boston Marathon

  1. Trying to make sense of the senseless. It’s what we do because we want to know why and how so that we can avoid it in the future. Even though we realize the effort is futile, it seems to offer some sense of comfort in the now.

  2. I’m a southern New England girl myself here, trying to process my confusion and pain through blogging. I love your idea of writing letters to your kids for the future. I was in college during 9/11 and my kids are toddlers and babies now through these recent events. I try to remain hopeful that when they’re old enough to notice the news, there will be no news articles like this. In truth, there always will, and it’s a matter of “when” and not “if.”

    • Thanks for your comment. Ironically on 9/11 we were on the air base for the first time and they were attending a playgroup. They made hand print stamps that day. We were escorted off by armed personnel and the base has been closed to the public ever since. A few weeks later the military sent the playgroup’s handprints to us. Even though they were extremely young, they will always know exactly what we were doing at that time. I think we all knew that our world would never be the same and I wanted them to know what it was like at that time… the scariness and the patriotism. Enjoy your babies they grow up fast!

  3. I too live near both of these places. Newtown is a neighboring town for where we live, and Boston is a few hours away. Its so hard to make sense of what happened in Boston, and what happened in Newtown. It’s heartbreaking. I am so sad that the world my children are growing up in is so different from the one I grew up in.

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