Tuesday, April 16, 2013

There Are So Many More Heroes Than Villains

We don't know who did this to us. We don't know why they did it. What we do know is that whoever they are, they can't win. In fact, they've already lost. The game's over. You lose. Sorry, but too many people did good things on the day you decided to try to scare us all. You're outnumbered, outworked, and most of all outclassed.

We can never undo what you did. There are 3 dead, more with injuries that will dramatically change their lives, and countless shaken and confused. However, there are survivors thanks to the quick and selfless actions of strangers. There's a City, a Country, a World united against terror. There is one or maybe a handful of villains in this story. There are too many heroes to mention. These are some...

There was Lucas Carr, an Army Ranger who normally pushes Matt Brown's wheelchair in road races to raise money for charity. For those who don't know, Matt Brown was a sophomore hockey player at Norwood High School (in my hometown), who suffered a spinal cord injury in a hockey game in 2010. Matt and Lucas now push each other, literally and figuratively, in races. Matt was unable to participate in the Marathon yesterday due to illness, but Lucas ran. He finished just before the blasts on Boylston. And, like the Rangers' motto of "Rangers lead the way" declares, he turned back to help the wounded.

He's in the right side of this picture, in a yellow cutoff shirt with tattooed arms.

Lucas wasn't alone. There was Carlos Arredondo, a noted peace activist who was at the finish line to cheer on someone who was running the Marathon for Arredondo's son, who died in Iraq in 2004. After the explosions, Arredondo did what he could to clear rubble and assist first responders.

Former New England Patriot Joe Andruzzi was photographed carrying a woman, and there's a brief appearance of him approaching this woman and her family which I hastily captured from my TV.

And one thing about this woman that strikes me is that her children are helping her, and she probably didn't want to seek help from EMTs because they were so busy with others. She tried to make it on her own, and Andruzzi gave them an assist. So much strength from Joe, from the woman, and from the girls helping her.

Watching these clips I see so many different types of people, different uniforms helping. My friend Tim volunteers for the BAA and was at the finish line, helping remove the barricades so medics could get to the wounded. He's physically okay, but understandably coping with some horrible memories of what he saw. You see a member of the media decide to stop taking pictures, sling his camera over his back, and help some cops pull the barricades away. You see a pair of men in camouflage helping with the barricades. I'm told one of them is Adam Ayer from Quincy, MA, who is currently in the National Guard and had just ran the race. Hospitals were inundated with runners wanting to give blood, even after running 26.2 miles. People who were at their body's limit of exertion managed to dig deep and find enormous reserves of energy, all to help strangers.

Think of how many first responders went toward the carnage, not knowing if there would be a third explosion. How many initials did we see doing difficult, necessary work yesterday. BPD, BFD, Boston EMS, MSP, BAA volunteers, MDs, RNs, US Army, Army ROTC groups, FBI, DEA, IRS-CID, DHS, OED, USN. And all the hard work of the ER and OR staffs at MGH, BMC, Tufts, and so on.

So much good done yesterday. But so much bad. The person or people who brought the bad to the table have already lost this game. It's like a game of chess against someone with only one piece. They did some damage, but we have so many rooks, bishops, knights, queens, and kings. We can't lose.

There will be a Boston Marathon in 2014, and it will go down as one of the best in the long history of the event. Violence and terror will not control our lives. And so long as that is true, and so long as the hearts of the good outwork the twisted minds of the bad, then we've already defeated terror.