I can’t stop crying. I pull myself together, go on with my day and then something triggers it — more details about nails placed in bombs specifically to mangle human flesh; people waking up in hospitals missing a limb; the 8-year-old boy who will never see his dad finish the race — and the tears come again.
A deep sadness has settled in my bones, and each new awful detail courses through my veins. My heart hurts. This tragedy has gripped me in a way others have not.
A horrible event occurs, 9/11, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and we pray, help any way we can and then go back to our mostly ordinary lives. That’s a good thing because by doing so we don’t let the bad guys win.
But this is different. For some reason it feels incredibly personal. I wasn’t there, I don’t know anyone who was, but, strangely, I feel attacked. Maybe it’s because this took place at a community gathering like ones we all regularly attend, similar in feel if not in scope.
It’s easy to picture yourself and your family at the finish line, eagerly watching for your runner, enjoying the camaraderie of the festive crowd.
It’s hard to imagine that happy scene exploding with the bombs, the shock and horror that followed, the confusion, the fear.
What happened? When did it come to this — that on a day described as the best day of the year in Boston you can attend a world-famous sporting event and end up maimed or dead?
I know that people in certain parts of the world face violence every day, but not here, not us. We are the United States of America, a nation of tolerance and understanding, opportunity and dreams. We are not about death and hatred and senseless, random violence.
The Boston Marathon celebrates what’s most important to us: freedom, patriotism, family and friends. It is about competition, certainly, but even more so cooperation, people supporting each other, cheering each other on, happy for each other’s success. That is the essence of America.
And no matter what they do, the bad guys cannot destroy that. One of the suspects, now dead, said of Americans, “I don’t understand them.”
He got that right, although he got everything else wrong. He didn’t understand us, not a bit. He didn’t understand that no matter what he did to us, we will never, ever let terror change who we are.
So once again, I will pray, help any way I can and then go back to my mostly ordinary life. I will stop crying. Because that’s how we win.
Value of mindfulness
I’m sorry to say to the writer of the April 21 letter “Whew” that mindfulness has been pulled from schools because people were afraid it might introduce religion into our classrooms, and that simply cannot be allowed.
Test scores in science and math will remain low because our students will not be able to learn how to concentrate effectively on problems in science and higher-level algebra.
They won’t learn self-esteem that comes from mindfulness training, and half of them will drop out before graduating from high school.
Without mindfulness training, they will become more susceptible to peer pressure and get involved in street gangs.
Yes, I know the writer is disappointed. I am, having studied and trained in mindfulness for the past 25 years, only to see this valuable tool dropped.
Coventry needs better buildings
I read the letters, I listen to people around town and I even read the postcards that arrive from construction groups not associated with our community about why to vote against the Coventry schools levy on May 7.
People say the administration is the problem; people say open enrollment is the issue; people say that school funding is unconstitutional; and people even say affording more taxes is the problem.
The truth is, the levy on May 7 is not about the administration, open enrollment or our ability to afford more taxes. The honest truth is the district’s school buildings are garbage and unsafe.
Before everyone in the community starts selling me on why they are voting against the levy, they should take a tour of these dilapidated, unsafe schools that our community’s children attend.
What they will see is that Erwine Intermediate School deserves a wrecking ball. The school is running on one of three boilers for heat, ceiling tiles are constantly falling in on students because of major leaks in the roof, and the snow blows through the old, poorly sealed windows and cracks in the buildings.
People should stop giving their opinions until they see these schools. They should take the time, and then explain what the levy is really about.
We will not stand for our children to be in unsafe learning environments anymore. Coventry voters must step up and realize our wonderful children should not be in facilities like this anymore.
Coventry residents have the ability, whether they have a child in the schools or not, to put our children into new, safe, secure and rehabilitated schools.
Heavy traffic will get heavier
Concerning the Fairlawn Zoning Board meeting on April 18, I can only say I was very disappointed that the residents in the affected area did not get the same consideration as the residents in the Rothrock Road area have received.
While our mayor is carrying on a “valiant” and expensive fight to keep Walmart from moving into Copley Township, he has been rather elusive when it comes to the McDonald’s request to move to the corner of West Market Street and Shiawassee Avenue. Apparently, Mayor Roth and the zoning board feel that the traffic will not increase on Market, Shiawassee, Abington Road, Sand Run Parkway and Corunna Avenue.
I often use Shiawassee to turn onto Market, and it doesn’t take Albert Einstein to conclude that the traffic in that area is already heavy.
I can only imagine what will happen with the “overflow” from the proposed McDonald’s and into our neighborhoods.
To answer McDonald’s contention that we are “underserved,” try again to convince me after you look at the restaurants in Fairlawn, Montrose and Copley Township area.
Why not debate gun violence?
As an Ohioan, I had to hang my head in shame when Rob Portman cast his vote against even having a debate in the Senate on controlling gun violence.
I could only wonder, “Why?”
Of course, we know Portman opposes universal background checks, even though 90 percent of Americans are in favor of them.
Most Republicans, gun owners and National Rifle Association members favor them as well.
But we also know the NRA opposes background checks and funds his campaigns.
He has admitted that he opposes a ban on assault weapons and voted against the ban when he was a representative, citing concerns for the Second Amendment.
But why not debate these issues?
Certainly, we can all agree that at the time our Founding Fathers wrote that citizens should have the right to bear arms, those arms consisted of single-shot, muzzle-loaded muskets.
And we can agree that no citizen has the right to own a nuclear bomb.
The job of the Senate is to draw the line between those extremes and say whether an assault weapon with a 30-round magazine is on the legal or illegal side of that line.
I can only wonder how he would have voted if his son had been killed at the age of 6, in an elementary school, with an assault weapon.
Get ready for justice delayed
I hope America is ready for what’s about to happen regarding the suspect in custody for the Boston Marathon bombing. There will be lawyers bumping into each other to represent this man.
They will use every method available to extend the process until 2015. By then, America on some level will have moved on with life.
Not the victims. They will have to endure one hearing after another, one delay after another.
To add insult to injury, the victims of the bombing will subsidize the team of lawyers with their tax dollars. The news media and most politicians will bend over backward to make sure the Muslim world is reassured it is not to blame.
All the while, America will sit on pins and needles waiting for the next Islamic extremists to vent their rage on us. These attacks will continue. As long as we covet a free society, extremists will be free to pick and choose their targets.
I don’t want to live in a police state; that won’t prevent these terrorist attacks from happening. The only thing we can hope for is that some day America will be a less attractive target.