I am a miracle made up of particles and in this existence I'll stay persistent and I'll make a difference and I will have lived it - Medicine for the People

Tragedy at the Boston Marathon

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Deciding to write about the tragedy that occurred in Back Bay yesterday as many marathon runners were just crossing the finish line in Copley was a struggle. Ever since I moved to Boston for school in 2006 I've felt such a strong connection to this city. Celebrating Marathon Monday is an institution and in years past I've been out there on the sidewalks, red solo cup in hand, screaming and cheering for the runners along with the rest of the crowd. Now it feels like all of my happy memories are tainted in some way because of the horrific things that happened yesterday.
I was actually on the fence about going to watch the Marathon right up until Sunday night. I had a lot of work to do but I kind of wanted to take some time to watch the race. Earlier in the week I had sent a text to my friend mentioning that I might go just for a little while and I'm so glad now that I didn't. I was at the post office running an errand when I got a voicemail from my dad telling me what happened and asking if I was OK. I immediately searched the news online to find out what was going on and started checking up on everyone I know in the area to make sure they were safe. I then went home immediately and turned on the news.
People ask me all the time why I want to be a doctor and I think the best way to explain it is that when I saw the explosions on the news and the first responders rushing towards the blasts instead of away I wanted to be them. I wanted to be there at the scene and I wanted to help. I was incredibly thankful that I was safe and that all of the people that I loved turned out to be fine (after much frantic texting and calling over the next few hours) but I felt so useless sitting on my couch checking Facebook for updates while so many men, women and children were out there hurting and I couldn't do anything about it. 
Even though my loved ones were safe, thinking about all of the people who experienced a loss or had a friend or family member injured made my heart hurt. It also made me infinitely grateful that there were so many wonderful people at the scene whose first thought was to help. The police, the national guard, bystanders, medical personnel, all of the doctor and nurse race participants who crossed the finish line and then immediately began tending to the wounded - they are amazing people and their actions are a beautiful example to the rest of us. Hearing stories of runners rushing to give blood after completing the marathon are so touching because they remind you that in the midst of such darkness, there is still so much good in the world and there will continue to be, we just have to believe it.
Boston is already coming together and I know things will slowly go back to normal but the effects of yesterday will echo deeply into the future. I worry that the Marathon will never be the same but feel better when I think about the nature of those that live here. Bostonians are known for being stubborn and this is one case where it's undeniably a beautiful quality. We can't give in and let sadness take over and ruin what is meant to be an uplifting and joyous occasion. I know it's too soon to talk about next year but I feel like more people than ever will be lining the race course from Hopkinton to Heartbreak Hill to the finish line to cheer and high-five runners as they complete the Marathon and I hope I will be there to join in. 
Thank you to everyone who checked up on me yesterday, it meant more than you will ever know. 



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