Still Boston Strong
I wasn’t home when the bombings occurred. I was in Nashville, on Broadway, buying cowboy boots. This might sound like a trivial association to you if you didn’t know how excited I was about those boots. It’s been one of my bucket list activities to get a genuine pair of cowboy boots. As that bastard pushed the button, sucker punching my city, I had that rush of adrenaline we all get we when do something that makes us feel alive. Reminds us why we work so hard. Why we keep our friends close (I was in town visiting a friend who just moved there.) Why we believe in what we do.
Had I not been on vacation, there’s a very good chance I would have been working in the city that day. The thought makes a chill go down my spine. I’d told my booker I’d be out of town, but I still got some calls from regular clients I turned down. Where would I have been? What would I have seen? How would my life had changed if I hadn’t booked that trip?
It was a strange, helpless feeling, being so far from home. All I could rely on was the news from friends back home, national news, and internet coverage. All of it was about the same. As I write this, we really still no nothing about the coward who attacked so many innocent people. The strangest part was how life went on when I wanted to tell everyone I saw MY CITY WAS JUST ATTACKED. Of course, flags were at half staff and signs sent best wishes to Boston from all over Nashville. Flying home was no different from flying there.
The day after the attacks, I visited the Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee. It’s the battlefield site of The Battle of Franklin, a pivotal battle that took place in 1864 that devastated the Confederate Army. A simple cemetery was erected for all the southern soldiers that lost their lives there. (Although, I have to wonder what happened to the bodies of the slain Union soldiers. There was no mention of them on site.) A folder with a list of names of the soldiers from each state disturbed me.
Many of the soldier’s identities were unknown.
As we seek comfort, strength, and some sort of closure from this awful attack this week, think of all those families who never heard of what happened to their loved ones. Many of the reasons the states divided and fought against each other aren’t resolved today. Economic differences. States rights vs. Federal Rights. Racial Divide. The President. Sound familiar? One hundred and fifty years later, can’t we see that we are one nation and stand together? Can’t we find a way to move past these things that divide us? Monday shows us we need each other, and we don’t have time to check political affiliations when someone is lying on the ground bleeding. It sickens me that people automatically assume that a Muslim is to blame, if they are even educated enough to know many Arabic people are Muslim. It will sicken me if it turns out to be someone we would normally presume to be all American citizen. The person who did this has one face, and one face only, no matter what they look like. Enemy.
I didn’t know what I’d find when I came home on yesterday. The weather has been absolutely perfect, peaceful since my return. Like nature knows we need the beauty. The city isn’t totally up and running yet, but it will be. Everyone’s scars are still visible, whether they were at the marathon or not. But they’ll heal. We all will. I’m proud of my city for coming together and carrying on in the face of attack. Whoever did this truly did pick the wrong city.
You don’t mess with Boston.