Not Your Regularly-Scheduled “N” Post

I had intended to write a post about Nashville tonight, but I’m not going to do that now. I’m taking a quick break from the A-to-Z Challenge.

Today is about a tragedy.

News broke around 3pm this afternoon that two explosions had taken place at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The information spread around my office, and a few people made comments like, “oh, how terrible!,” and then returned to their work.

I, however, took to Google, desperate for more information. Reports at that point in the day were ambiguous, using words like “explosion” and “investigation ongoing.” Things do not tend to simply ‘explode’ in such a fantastic way of their own accord. It was obvious that a person had built a bomb and caused this to happen.

I just ran a foot race on Saturday, with approximately 40,000 other people. I’ve heard it estimated that somewhere around 26,000 people ran Boston today. It is unthinkable to me that something like this can happen, but particularly at an event like this one. It was not a political event; it was not a religious event; it was not an offensive event of any sort. It was a marathon. Average, innocent people were running in those streets today, and average, innocent people were there cheering them on. One of my first thoughts was: “This could have happened in Richmond on Saturday.” The fact that someone planted these bombs and timed them to explode 4 hours into the race is disgusting. It is heart-wrenching. It is a tragedy.

I was a freshman at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007. For the past week or so, my friends on Facebook have been slowly changing their profile and cover photos to reflect the annual remembrance that has become tradition. Tomorrow, thousands of people around the world will reflect on what has become known as “the largest school shooting in history.”

I learned this morning that there was a shooting at the New River Community College–the community college in Christiansburg, 10 minutes from Virginia Tech–on Friday morning.

And today, this.

The news surrounding an event like this one (I hate that there have been enough to justify calling it ‘an event like this one‘) is so sensationalized, so desensitized, that it pains me to watch. ABC news is airing and re-airing footage of the bombs detonating, with screams, and chaos, and panic. Innocent people, quite literally being ripped apart. Why?

I don’t know what my point is, really, except that things like this should not happen. Anywhere. Ever. How is it that humanity has reached the point that anyone can ever even consider taking the life of another person? An entire block full of people? Solely to prove a point? About what, exactly? What does anyone stand to gain from something like this? How does one person veer so far off the moral course?

The human family, collectively, has suffered a great loss today. When will we ever come together? When will it ever stop?