Why I Turned Off TV Coverage Of Boston

“Are you in Boston?” My 22 year-old daughter texted me, knowing that I often travel to run.

“No. Why?”

This text was promptly followed by a call from my son, who is 20.

They are young adults making their way in the world. If they were calling their mom, it must be big.

I turned on the TV, something I rarely do, to see the coverage of what appeared to be a terrorist attack at the Superbowl of running events. Boston isn't just any marathon, you have to qualify. Every weekend runner in America knows what their BQ (Boston qualifying) time is. In a typical marathon, you pay a fee and you run, not so in Boston. A few charities have slots for runners who raise money, but for the most part, you earn your way in.

To see that someone had set off explosions at the finish line sickened me.

After hearing the “what” of what had happened, I had to turn of the television. It brought me back to 9/11. Watching the continuous loop of terror, listening to the newscasters speculating, unable to make sense of the senseless.

There was nothing I could do from where I was. Watching the video montage over and over would not help anyone in any substantive way. Watching only served to terrorize me.

I mourn for the victims and their families. I mourn for the runners whose race was cut short. I mourn that none of us will be the same going forward.

As I write this, the perpetrators are unknown. Foreign or domestic? I don't care. I hope that one day justice will be served.

On Monday, though, I turned off the television. Not to pretend that it didn't happen, that evil doesn't exist. I turned it off so I could focus on the victims, on their families, on the runners, on people who were looking for their loved ones amid the chaos. For the medical personnel and the first responders. For the heroes doing what we all wish we could: Helping the hurt, comforting the broken hearted, looking for those responsible.

I believe in the good of people. I believe that there is more good than bad in the world. I believe that once again we will come together as a community and be stronger for it.

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