Apr 17, 201307:51 AM
Dispatches from a New Orleans Newcomer
Reacting to the Boston Bombings
A photo of the Boston skyline from Fenway Park in 2009
I read about it on Twitter. The tweets mentioned "explosions," "bombs," "terror." The tweets with photos were even worse. People were on the ground. There was blood on the sidewalk. "What is happening?" I thought as I scrolled down my Twitter feed. Something was happening at the Boston Marathon and people were hurt and no one could explain why. And it was happening in Boston. In Boston. Why would someone do this?
Since hearing about the Boston bombings on Monday, it is almost all I have been thinking about. While I know this blog is supposed to be about my adventures in New Orleans, my mind has been on a different place. Boston and its surrounding areas will always hold a special place in my heart because I spent my childhood there. It is one of my favorite places in the world and now it's on the news looking like a war zone.
I love my new home of New Orleans, but Boston will always be my favorite city. While I never lived downtown, I grew up in the Boston area. We moved a couple times when I was little, so I lived in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, but we were always a short drive from the city. As a kid, Boston was where the fun things happened. It was where the Red Sox played, where I got to see "Hercules on Ice" and where I got to see the Backstreet Boys, my first concert. Even after moving to Missouri when I was 11, Boston still remained – and still is – the city my family and I identified with. We visited a lot, and when we weren't there, we were often getting phone calls or emails from our New England family members. In the summer of 2009, I got to spend time in downtown Boston as an intern for Boston Magazine. I took the bus into the city everyday, then walked to the office, passing the same spots where the bombs went off.
But this past Monday, I was far from Boston. I was sitting at my desk in New Orleans, feeling helpless. All I could do from more than 1,500 miles away was read Twitter and Facebook to make sure my New England friends and family were okay. I knew in the back of my mind that they were fine, since I hadn't heard of anyone planning to attend the marathon. However, I still took small breaks from work to check Facebook and to text my parents to make sure everyone was okay. Even though everyone I knew was fine, their Facebook status updates were sad. “Safe and sound in my apartment....can hear sirens everywhere, this is scary,” one said. “I'm safe and sound at work. All my Boston friends text me when you can to let me know you're ok,” said another. Why were my friends talking like this? How could someone disrupt such a special place? Why was this happening?
We still don't know why someone would do this to Boston or any part of the world. All I know is that I'm extremely sad that the city will always have this day in its history. Even though I've moved from New England to the Midwest to the South, I will never lose my Boston identity; I think that is why I have been so upset by these tragic bombings. Like New Orleans, Boston is a city that stays with you. Both cities are very old and full of history and culture. Like New Orleans, Boston has its own lingo, tourist attractions and sports teams. And like New Orleans, everyone who lives there is extremely proud to be from there and locals often don't move away.
Boston is a very special place and I can't believe that one of its most famous events, the Boston Marathon, will forever be associated with "an act of terror." My heart goes out to the family members who lost loved ones in the blasts, and I hope we find out soon who caused this sad event.
If you, too, have been sad about the bombings, I recommend the following clip from last night's "Colbert Report." It talks about the strength of Bostonians and is a great tribute to their resilience.
Stay strong, Boston. I'll be thinking of you.