On Tuesday night, while going back and forth on my iPad between the Twins’ game and Facebook, I saw that one of my Facebook friends had shared a new cartoon from The New Yorker. It was a rendering of a man and, presumably, his young daughter, both wearing New York Yankee caps and T-shirts emblazoned with a “B.” The caption read, “Yes, we like the Yankees, but today we’re all rooting for Boston.”
I’m neither a Yankees or a Red Sox fan, but I do love the city of Boston. Of course, anyone’s affection (or lack thereof) for that city means nothing in the aftermath of Monday’s bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. What happened earlier this week was something that probably shocked many of us in the same way 9-11 did. Yes, the loss of life was far, far less this week, and the devastation nowhere near the same category, but what came into mind once again was the evil specter of terrorism.
I was last in Boston in 2005, when Becca and I went there for a day trip. She had never been, and we walked a majority of the Freedom Trail in very hot and muggy conditions. We also went to Cambridge, where we toured some of the grounds of Harvard, and later sat on a bench to watch the ducks — recalling the famous children’s book “Make Way for Ducklings” — in Boston Common. There was not enough time, unfortunately, to head into Beacon Hill, my favorite Boston neighborhood and a place that can’t help transport you into an early 20th-century vibe with its cobblestone streets, brick townhouses and gas-burning streetlights. The first time I visited Beacon Hill, I wanted to live there. Then I saw the price of its real estate.
There’s history seemingly everywhere in Boston, and that’s why I’ve long held it in such high esteem. I suppose that’s also the reason it might appeal to some deranged person as an ideal spot for a bombing. After all, it’s the home of Paul Revere’s midnight ride, which helped lead to the birth of our great nation. It’s also a big and often-crowded city with many narrow, confusing, difficult-to-navigate streets (I would much rather drive in New York City than in Boston), which I guess could contribute to its potential allure as a place to cause mass hysteria and horror.
This speculation, though, doesn’t answer any questions as to why Monday’s bombings happened. All I know is that one week, we’re praying for our own safety in the midst of horrible winter weather, and the next we’re praying for a city and an entire country. Talk about perspective.
My two young children have never been to Boston, but I certainly hope to take them someday and do things my wife and I did there — and more. I suppose there will someday be a monument or structure recalling what took place Monday, and that would be a destination as well.
I look forward to that trip, whenever it happens. Boston is and will always remain a must-see city, and no crazed individual with whatever agenda he or she has can change that.