It’s here. We can’t deny it. 9-11 wasn’t just a single, tragic and horrible event. It was one in a series of events that has been visiting and continues to visit our country.
When I watch the images of the bleeding bodies on the streets of Boston, the photos of women praying on their knees at the blockades, the face of the eight year old child, Martin Richard, that was suddenly and savagely ripped from his parents lives, I feel like I am looking at a war zone. A war zone in another country, but it’s not another country. It’s the United States. Only two hours from where I am shooting All My Children.
I first heard about the bombing from a news app I have on my phone, via the Huffington Post. Then I got a text from my fiancé, Jon, who asked me if I had heard. Perhaps because I went through 9/11, living only 20 blocks from the towers, I tend not to follow war news too closely because the images are still upsetting, but I had to find out more. I went to see Darnell and we quietly watched the news videos about it on my iPhone. I texted my sister to make sure she was okay because she had just been in Boston visiting a friend. In 2005 she just missed getting on the subway in London that was bombed. Thank god she and everyone she knew was okay.
Everyone began to gather in the hallways when they had a break to listen to the news on a production assistant’s computer. We heard they shut down cell service (bombs can now be set off with a cellular device) and knew would cause a lot of distress for the families trying to reach their loved ones. We felt helpless.
This can happen now anywhere, to anyone.
Who did this? Why did they do this? There must be a message that the person who set those bombs is trying to convey or why would they do such a thing? Bottom line, I imagine they want us to feel pain and fear. I think they wanted people to suffer.
If it is an American, we need to talk about mental health like never before, as well as access to bomb making material. If it is someone from another country who is trying to get back at America for perceived aggressions, then we need to talk about homeland security like never before.
I have the strangest feeling that no one is going to take credit for this bomb which could make this even more terrifying, because we will have an invisible enemy. It’s hard to fight someone you can’t see, and it puts people in a state of fear and panic. However, we must not allow that person or persons to take our strength from us.
As I watch the news I also see the incredible human spirit. I see dignity, strength, grace, and resolve. People who were running and innocent bystanders alike, people who came to Boston from all over the world, Americans and local Bostonians, all drawing on their faith and deepest resources to come to the aid of those in distress.
Terrible things may happen, have happened, will happen. I think it’s important to remember there are things we can do. We can comfort those in need, support those who are left without resources with food and shelter, and not let ourselves be put into a state of fear. We are strong. We are resilient. We will not be cowed by this weak and pathetic act of cowardice.
If you are suffering today, I pray for giant angels come down to wrap their wings around you to give you love and strength. I pray that Martin Richard and his family and all those who have been hurt or affected by the Boston bombing also be deeply and tenderly comforted, whether by angels, or strangers, or by neighbors. Because right now, we can all be angels to one another.