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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What Makes A Hero? - 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing

Boston's 26.2 mile marathon race is an annual event that began in 1897, making it the world's oldest annual marathon. This race attracts an average of over 25,000 participants and over half a million spectators from around the world.

Professional athletes and disabled vets can run in this same race side by side. An 80 year old man can compete next to an 18 year old college student. The Boston Marathon brings people from all walks of life together to compete in New England's most widely viewed sporting event. This race is always held on Patriot's Day or the third Monday in April and usually lasts about 3-4 hours long.

A record running time of 2 hours and 3 minutes was made in 2011 by a man from Kenya named Geoffrey Mutai. Some people might consider this man a hero for his success as a runner. Two individuals have literally died trying to run the Boston Marathon (Swedish man, 1962 and Cynthia Lucero, 2002) either from a heart attack or from a blood sodium level that became fatally low. Some people might consider these two people heroes for doing what they loved up to the moment they died. And then there's the father and son team (Dick and Rick Hoyt) that competed with father pushing son in a wheelchair for 30 years in a row in the Boston Marathon. Most people would consider these two gentlemen heroes.

This year,  in 2013, the world saw another kind of hero at the Boston Marathon. These were the men and women who ran towards the sound of explosions that rocked Copley Square in downtown Boston as final runners were crossing the finish line. The normal reaction might be to run away from such a horror, but not these folks. Their immediate reaction was to see how they could help the injured. There was apparently not much thought given to the possibility of whether or not there might be another bomb nearby just waiting to ignite, one that might possibly injure them.

No, the most important concern to these people were the 175 injured ones and the 3 that were dying. In the minds of these heroes, the immediate physical needs of 178 crying and bleeding people were more important than the security of their own life. And these were strangers to them before that day. These heroes were sacrificing their safety for people that they would likely have never crossed paths with in their entire life had this horrific event not happened. What is it about some humans that drives them to do good in the face of personal danger? What is it about some humans that drives them to commit the most horrendous evil in the face of some personal gain or agenda?

Is is possible that we were all created with the inherent tendency to do good, but some reject that tendency because of a more powerful craving? The craving to serve self. Some day we'll likely know the answer to that question. But for these hundreds of individuals who shared this horrible experience in Boston's Copley Square on April 15, 2013, their lives will never be the same. Whether they be victims of the terrible blast, horrified onlookers or heroes running to save lives, these minds and hearts have been forever stamped with the fact that there are evil villains in this world...but there are also self-sacrificing heroes nearby.


Traci said...

Very well said. great read.

Suzanne Leavitt Lender said...

Thanks for stopping by.

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Suzanne Leavitt Lender said...

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