Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Don't Mess With Boston

"...I've found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay... small acts of kindness, and love." -Gandalf the Grey, The Hobbit (the 2012 film version, apologies to the purists)
Copley Square, Boston. Image courtesy 123rf.com, royalty-free stock photos.

I was born in Boston, and grew up there. One of my earliest memories is of being in Copley Square, leaving the Boston Public Library with my mom and sister, and running into my great-grandmother (my father's grandmother) Mabel on the way to the subway. I remember it because she was very old, well into her 90s then, but she was still out and about, on her way to the library from the bus. I remember it, too, because she stopped to talk to us even though it was chilly out, and I remember she looked at the three of us with such great love. I couldn't have been more than 4 or 5 years old. It was a small moment, in the scheme of things, but I rarely went through Copley Square after that without thinking of her.

As a teenager, I hung out in Copley Square frequently after school. I went to movies there, I ate ice cream there, I had pizza there. Hell, I went to the prom in Copley Square. 

After college, when I moved back to Boston, I worked on Boylston Street, a few blocks away from Copley Square proper, and I spent endless hours there after work and on my lunch hour. So yesterday, when I saw a tweet that there had been an explosion at the Boston Marathon, and then went to CNN.com to see the mayhem and devastation of a bombing in Copley Square -- I can't put into words how sick I felt. It was akin to seeing my backyard blown up. My backyard, where a friendly neighborhood block party went terribly, horribly, sickeningly wrong.

I'm sick, and I'm enraged. And it is not making me feel any less so that some are using the funerals of people killed in this tragedy as a jumping-off point to make some bizarre religious-political statement. I don't think Jesus would approve!

I can only hope that this horrible tragedy brings people together to build something positive. Boston deserves better than this. We all deserve better than this.

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