Today the world witnessed Massachusetts and the U.S.A. at its very best. Federal, state and local law enforcement worked together seamlessly. There may have been internal problems, but to the casual observer it was like clockwork. Nearly half the population of the state cooperated in an unprecedented way with them, their absence as great a help as any other part through the entire ordeal. When this all began it was sudden and brutal and the effect on us all was profound. Then began our sharing of this, the good and the bad.
Bad press coverage, like the entire fourth estate was in a race to see who could be wrong first, vitriolic extremism from our own, which unfortunately we have come to expect, partisan rhetoric that was often cruel, and of course the conspiracies, all of it pushing this thing to the edge of horrible circus.
But, oh, the good. The Boston Marathon is amazing. In few events can the novice compete with the elite. Anyone from anywhere in the world can participate. It is a symbol of best kind of freedom. This began with an unfathomable act of violence against that symbol. Even as it was happening people turned to face the danger, ordinary folk running into smoke and chaos and getting strangers clear. Then the city shut down the first time, and locals reached out, shelter, food, transport; social networks became a clearinghouse for immediate aid. Even before the dust settled the search for answers began, information pouring in from all corners. Then big brains in law enforcement went to work, and they got us answers, all of which we do not know even now. Then today happened. A sudden and awful burst of chaos followed by a powerful coming together so compelling that even the press participated. A taciturn and focused unity formed that was uniquely Boston. It may be that sometime down the road we come to this again, and another city will be forced to show its mettle. It is my hope we learn from this, remembering the positive and improving on what worked and looking at the negative as an object lesson in pointless noise.
This thing happened and it sucked, but the way we came together, it was pissah.