Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thoughts on Boston

A good friend of mine, Michelle Cutler, writes for The Henderson Press on occasion.  This morning she called to ask me about my thoughts regarding and connections to the bombing at the Boston Marathon.  Below is what I sent her.  I don't how to make sense of what happened or why.  It's unlikely the person or people behind this terrorist act can adequately explain why.  Such acts of violence are evil and cowardly.


Thanks for the call.  Yesterday was crazy.  Between work and everything else I do each day I was busy calling, messaging, and scrolling FB to see if any of my friends or acquaintances who have ran or have qualified to run the Boston Marathon were running yesterday.  Within a couple of hours I was able to affirm that my friends who were most likely to have run hadn't done so this year.

Last night I called my dad who was recently activated by the US Navy Reserve to deploy back to Kuwait and Iraq.  (He's in Virgina finishing up training before he heads back to the desert for seven or eight months.)  My dad is the one who called me in January of 2010 to ask if I was tough enough to run a marathon with him.  I remember the bottom of stomach dropping out as soon as he asked because I knew I was going to say yes.  Since our first Ogden Marathon I have ran a total of four marathons and almost ten long distance relay races.  Most of them I've ran with my dad.  This year my dad won't be able to run any races with the family because of his deployment to the Middle East.

Anyway, during our conversation he told me that the wife of a friend had ran the marathon.  He was relieved to report that she had posted on Facebook that she was alright.

Last night I found a posting from Linda Ambard.  I served on the faculty of the Air Force Academy with her husband Phil a few years ago.  Phil was deployed to Afghanistan as an adviser in 2011.  Phil was killed by an Afghan soldier who entered the room where Phil was working or visiting with some other US military personnel.  The Afghan soldier shot and killed Phil and eight others.  His wife Linda was running the Boston Marathon this year in honor of Phil's service and sacrifice.  She was only a quarter of a mile from the end of the marathon when terrorists impacted her life again.

Running is an amazing sport that can be so many things to so many people.  Running is powerful.  It can be curative and tempering in its effect on the runner and the observer.  It's inspiring and unifying.  My favorite part of a race is watching all of the people at the beginning.  The runners are so diverse in their ages, body types, reasons, experience, and so much more.

This terrorist attack, like the one in Newtown, felt close and personal.  I have three major races coming up over the next two and half months.  People are online asking about safety and security measures for these races.  What a crazy place to be in for a reason that we don't yet know.

Anyway, I'm not quite sure how to end this.  It's just another chapter in the sad book of terrorism and it's impact on so many.  Those who run races and those who watch races will continue to do so but with a new worry in their minds.

More on Phil Ambard.  Phil was a hero and a patriot.  His wife and children are also heroes and patriots.

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