Yesterday, as I followed the coverage of the tragic Boston Marathon bombing, I watched a video from The Boston Globe and was struck not only by the horror and chaos of the moment, but by the bravery of the first responders.
As I write this blog post, reports indicate that three people died and more than 140 were injured in the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing. Police officers, medical staff, marathon volunteers and others raced into the smoke only seconds after the blasts to reach victims. These responders couldn’t know if more explosions were on the way. They couldn’t guarantee their own safety in those moments. They only knew that people were hurt and needed help – and they were there to provide that help.
“Boston police, firefighters and first responders as well as the National Guard responded heroically, and continue to do so as we speak,” President Barack Obama said in an April 15 statement on the marathon bombings. “It’s a reminder that so many Americans serve and sacrifice on our behalf every single day, without regard to their own safety, in dangerous and difficult circumstances. And we salute all those who assisted in responding so quickly and professionally to this tragedy.”
The marathon finish line was clearly a nightmarish scene. With many bystanders and runners facing grave injuries, including lost limbs, the fast action of the first responders surely saved lives and prevented the death count from rising higher.
“Patriots Day and Marathon Monday are usually celebrated all across Boston, but today our cheers were turned to prayers,” Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in an April 15 statement. “But Boston is strong and resilient, and we come together in times of need. We will get through this, and we will find those responsible.”
Menino also expressed gratitude to “the many emergency workers, including police officers, firefighters, and medics who come to the aid of the victims and ran toward the danger yesterday.”
Running toward danger – that’s part of the job description for first responders. Today more than ever, I think citizens nationwide are grateful for that bravery.