It is almost 7am and I am sitting on a bus headed from Louisville to South Carolina. Because of the technology of this beautiful day and age, we are watching the live CNN reports about the recent activities following the Boston Marathon bombing. Suspect #1 has been shot and killed, and Watertown, Massachusetts is on lockdown while SWAT teams search the houses and remove families from their homes. Essentially the city of Boston is shut down, and even the Amtrak services from Providence to Boston have been halted.
From where I sit on this bus, somewhere now in the middle of Kentucky headed towards the East Coast, it is probably just as easy for me to say what I’m about to say, but I so strongly believe that it is the truth. The more we watch the TV and the more we repeatedly hear the same information regurgitated in a different way, the more we fear. The media is great up to a certain extent, and I would expect nothing less of them to be reporting on these terrible circumstances around the clock. In all of our hunger to be informed, we find it so hard to look away. It feels like it is almost my duty as an American to know as much as I can about the state of affairs in our country. As much as I would love to turn off the TV, I worry about the livelihood of my fellow Americans, and not only that, but my peers in the human race; peers whom have the capacity for fear, joy, insanity, and terror.
The phrase “terrorist on the loose” has come up numerous times on the news this morning. The terrorism these suspects exhibited on Monday though was clearly a premeditated act. Whoever these people are who had the audacity to commit this crime have long been terrorists on the loose. They are not the only ones. As we see communities coming together in the light of this tragedy, we must know that even now, here and all around the world, there are people just like these suspects with the same mentality. Terrorism and crime do not stop when the suspects are caught or killed. Crime and negativity is happening all around us, and whether we like it or not, it’s not going away any time soon.
What I would like people to understand, is the point of life is not for society to live in fear, nor is it to try to live one step ahead of these terrorists; we have professionals and law enforcement who dedicate their lives to this job. We just have to do what the people in Watertown, Massachusetts cannot do right at this moment, and that is to go outside, find a family member or friend and give them a hug, tell them that you appreciate them and this life that we have the opportunity to live.
In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his Inaugural Address to the people of the United States of America. During a trying time in this country, FDR had an unwavering optimism, and we still recite a quote from the speech he gave 80 years ago. What he had to say is so relevant to this current day, regardless of the changes in the economy and society for better and worse in the last century. After reading his words, I am inspired to capture the good from the optimists in the world. I would like to share the first paragraph of his speech, and encourage everyone to spread his words of optimism.
I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our people impel. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933, as published in Samuel Rosenman, ed., The Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Volume Two: The Year of Crisis, 1933 (New York: Random House, 1938), 11–16.
The rest of the speech and the audio can be found here: http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5057/
I have never really been one to pray, but I am one to send thoughts and positivity to the world and to the universe. That is what I am doing for Boston and for the rest of the world.