On Monday, 15 APRIL 2013, tragedy struck my hometown of Boston. An individual or group of individuals (details are forth coming) set off explosive devices along the final three block stretch to the finish line of the historic Boston Marathon. Normally I would have been present at the event, however I was in Manhattan. I found out about the attack via ESPN’s SportCenter iPhone application. I rushed back to the hotel and watched the news unfold. Needless to say, I was incredibly saddened and empathic to the families of Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, and the Boston University graduate student. I wanted to drive back to Boston immediately and
help my fellow National Guardsmen who were activated. However, I had to remain in New York, and finish my project that ended yesterday.
I made time to go to the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, where the Bishop of the Episcopal Church Diocese of New York, Bishop Andrew M. L. Dietsche sits. While there, I made time to pray for all those affected by the attack. I also prayed for our clergy and first responders. However I was quickly reminded that although most of the nation and world mourns with us, there are some who are using this tragedy as an opportunity for individual gain. Included in this are scammers, politicians and hate mongers.
I received an email from one of the news services warning against individuals setting up bogus charities for “Boston Marathon Relief.” I became incredibly angry and shouted words that were unbecoming of a priest, but quite acceptable for my Infantry soldiers. It’s sad to think someone wants to use the 3 lives cut short to make a quick buck.
At the onset, a couple of the news outlets in New York were incredibly unsympathetic to the attack. Two anchors scoffed at it as if it was something minor. They hosted politicians on their shows who have a low public opinion or really needed help in the polls. These politicians used the air time to assert their public persona with hopes of it turning into votes.
Finally, I noticed people who would make racist comments regarding those from the Middle East. The assumption is that the perpetrator(s) are from that region of the world. Those people seem to forget the last two tragedies on American soil (Newtown, Aurora) were carried out by Americans.
I resulted to pray and reflect in the fact that when tragedy strikes, the Devil is usually near. After reflecting, I also remembered that
God is also present. God is always present. There are times in which we lose sight of that. I was incredible happy by the love
shown by many New Yorkers, especially the New York Yankees franchise with the sign, and of course, “Sweet Caroline.”
I want to conclude with this; continue to pray for my city, the families, first responders, and our country. Please protect yourself regarding financial donations to the families and survivors. Although the Devil roams in the midst of tragedy, God is
there, and everywhere.
Peace and blessings,