It has been a week that we will never forget. First, the senseless tragedy at the Boston Marathon that resulted in multiple deaths and injuries to so many who were simply enjoying a holiday event. Then, the uncertainty of how long it might take to discover who was responsible – and the realization that like some other terrorist attacks, we might never know the full story. Finally, the hunt intensifying Friday in Watertown with the total shutdown of Boston but culminating with the capture of the remaining suspect.
Personally, this was very significant for me. I’ve traveled to Boston many times and am especially fond of the Back Bay area where the explosions were set off. I will be visiting there again in early June for work. One of my earliest girl friends, Pamela, briefly lived in Watertown when I first go to know her. Even though it’s been a while since I’ve been there, watching Watertown as the focus of a crime investigation hit very close to home.
It is very gratifying that the remaining suspect has been captured so quickly, thanks to the hard work of the Massachusettes police. It’s hard to imagine how difficult it must have been for Watertown residents to wait in their homes while yesterday’s events unfolded, not knowing how long they would have to live in fear.
For nonprofits, the best response I saw this week was Nancy Schwartz’s post, How to Communicate in the Midst of Tragedy. Having long been a proponent of editorial calendars and since I usually schedule many of my social media posts in advance, this was a clear reminder that sometimes we have to prepared to shift gears in our communications to our constituents.
Now, as more details come out about the Tsarnaev brothers, it is very important that we don’t use this as an opportunity to rationalize hate for any group or religion, as mentioned by the Tanenbaum Center, an organization which seeks to promote mutual respect of all religious beliefs. Teaching Tolerance is also a great resource for educating our children. We may never understand the motivation behind this crime – as if there would be any reason to want to kill an eight-year-old or to use nails in an explosive device to maximize injuries. But we must somehow learn to live with each other peacefully.
It is also very sad that legislation to tighten gun control stalled this week, months after so many children lost their lives in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. No, this wouldn’t have prevented the latest horror that unfolded in Boston using ‘home made’ explosives, but surely making it more difficult to obtain guns would help to reduce senseless violence.
To everyone in the Boston area who is recovering from injuries sustained in this week’s tragedy, and to those who are mourning losses of family members and friends, wishing you comfort and peace.