I was going to sit and begin a blog post and chat mindlessly about things that I’ve been up to with work, my students, and so on…until I turned on the news. You can read a recent article about this terrible tragedy here, but as I sat in the living room watching the photo of the explosion pan across the screen over and over, I felt a deep, sinking in my heart. I thought to myself, “Who could do this?” and was brought back to my high school English class, in 2001, when I stared at a television on 9/11 and asked myself that very same question. As a 14 year old who loved her country I was angry, I wanted to hate those same people who hurt my country, who hurt my friends who had family members who work in New York, and I wanted whoever was responsible to pay. I didn’t listen to the reports about people helping one another out of the buildings, and I didn’t listen to the stories of survivors. Instead, I only HEARD that the twin towers collapsed. I only HEARD that there were thousands dead, and I only HEARD that a terrorist was behind it all. However, hearing is very different from listening.
Over ten years later, I now watch people on television in their racing uniforms holding up one another. I watch the police, fire, and other first responders run to help those in need, and most importantly I listened to eye witness reports. I listened to a girl tell us how her mother was running today and she went to support her and that she was safe. I listened to a young man say that no one panicked, no one pushed people over, people were helping people get to safety. Civilians gently pushed wheel chairs for those who could not walk, and runners helped those who were trapped under rubble become free. I listened and I thought, in the midst of tragedy there can be hope. There can be light. I hope that others can see the same thing, that Americans can help their fellow man or woman! I hope that those suffering can find comfort, that those who are afraid can find a sense of calming, and I hope that those who caused this terrible tragedy will know that America is resilient, its people are strong, and Boston, and the amazing people who traveled there to run to benefit the victims of the Connecticut Newtown Tragedy will always have the support that they need. As an East Coaster, my heart goes out to those in Boston. May you all find the peace you need.