The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

My Photo
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Across the country and I’ve never felt closer to Boston than I do today

Currently living in LA, my morning routine is to roll out of bed, make a cup of Early Gray tea, and flip on the TV—whether it be MSNBC or CNN—to catch up on the normally uneventful news. 

Until this past week, I turned on the TV and heard liberal pundits complain about the strategic U.S. Senate nuisance known as the now infamous Republican filibuster. What were they trying to filibuster last week? Responsible gun safety measures requiring background checks for all gun purchases. Removing the gun show loophole. They were planning on filibustering any form of comprehensive immigration reform. Over at CNN, they were going crazy over the possible threat of a nuclear or missile attack from North Korea—led by a twenty-something year old, chubby dictator with an atrocious haircut that seemed way in over his head in terms of the global chaos he was creating.

Then the Boston Marathon bombing occurred on the Massachusetts holiday known as Patriot’s Day. People across Massachusetts, the country, and the world participate in this event every year. Even my mother ran the marathon years ago when I was a little kid, cheering her along as she passed the finish line—just as those families and students did this past week on Monday, April 15, 2013.

The media was broadcasting the chaos of the event like crazy. As soon as the victims' photos were plastered all over new networks, I realized how close I was to this tragedy in spirit, regardless of the fact that I was safe in my college bubble in LA.

The victims were people from the Greater Boston area, people who looked just like me. Had I not transferred from Boston University to LMU, who knows, maybe I would have been at the finish line when the bombs went off.

The moment I heard about the bombing, I called my mother, father, and brother. No signal. So I tried again and again, until I reached my mother, who thankfully had the day off of work in Boston because it was a state holiday. My dad was safe; my brother Bo was safe; but Maggie, Bo's girlfriend, was working at a restaurant a block away from the explosions. Terrified, she walked back to her Boston University apartment. But no one could get in touch with her. Eventually and luckily, we did get in touch with Maggie, and she is okay.

The more videos and images that I saw of Boston in chaos mode, the more I realized how close I feel to the place...and that closeness only intensified Thursday night when the police chased two suspects, matching the description of the bombers, to Watertown, MA. Literally, two streets over from my mom’s house in Belmont, MA.

The haphazard news media rambled on about an MIT officer dead, explosives thrown out of a car-jacked Mercedes SUV, and gunfire—down the street from where I grew up.

My city is in chaos! I thought to myself, and I called my mom immediately to tell her to turn on the TV to see what the hell was going on at 1:00 AM EST.

It became immediately apparent that this chaos was somehow related to the Boston Marathon bombings.

Then...LOCK DOWN: Boston, Cambridge, Watertown, Belmont, and other surrounding areas.

Suspect #1 was pronounced dead, but Suspect #2 was on the loose—in my neighborhood, a neighborhood that is fairly upper-class and snobby. The most that the Watertown or Belmont Police have ever had to respond to were noise complaints or drunk high school kids having parties and bonfires in the woods of Belmont Hill. 

Not this time. Less than 24 hours later, the escaped Suspect #2 was hiding in someone's shrink-wrapped boat in Watertown, bleeding out from injuries sustained from the gunfire that took place around 2:00 AM. He found refuge in this boat, until a trail of blood led a civilian to call the Watertown Police. A few hours later, Suspect #2 was captured alive and en route to Beth Israel Hospital—where his accomplice and brother died more than 12 hours earlier.

I watched the news coverage of people in Watertown flooding into the streets to cheer every law enforcement vehicle driving by, and I was overwhelmed with emotion. Then I saw video clips of college students stampede over to the Boston Common cheering “USA! USA!” and “We love Boston! Boston! Boston!” It was absolute elation, and the scene brought me to tears.

Boston is my home. I’ve never been so proud of my city until tonight, and I still get chills when I think about how swiftly law enforcement caught the alleged bombers. At least one of them is going to live another day to hopefully answer all the questions we have about this bombing and these two guys who grew up in one of the most liberal, diverse, and welcoming parts of Massachusetts—but somehow fell through the cracks of the American community.

I’m anxiously awaiting my trip home this summer, so I can embrace my family and old friends.

Across the country, I’ve never felt so close to my city and my state. Bostonians and New Englanders have a sense of pride about where they come from, and while I feel it occasionally, I’ve never felt it as intensely as I do today.

Racism is rampant in every state—liberal or conservative. And yes, there were plenty of racist, conspiracy theorists traveling around Boston talk radio. This talk is not the best of our country. It’s the worst. But somehow, that racism barrier was broken, at least momentarily, tonight. There were people of all races, creeds, and ages expressing their elation that the worst of this terror seems to be over. Crowds cheered everyone that walked by. Police were giving high-fives to the civilians, saying "We got him! We got him!" Law enforcement and politicians patted each other on the back. Smirks became wide smiles. I’ve never seen so much community support for law enforcement in my entire life. Even the national news media praised the operation calling it a textbook example of how terror threats can be neutralized in the future.

What a wonderful day for Boston, and I hope that all of the victims of the tragedy will find some closure. I’m so proud to be from Boston. And who knows, maybe next year, I’ll try to run the 26 mile marathon?

-Mikayla Galvin


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home