This puts everything into perspective

Started Apr 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
RoelHendrickx Forum Pro • Posts: 26,610
Terrible, terrible news

mpgxsvcd wrote:

I had been pestering my wife to take a camera with her to get good pictures at the Marathon today. I was concerned that the video and pictures on her phone would not be good enough. That she would miss that moment when her friends all ran past on the way to finishing their first "Boston".

Instead she posted a simple 5 second video of them giving hugs at mile 17 as my wife shouted at them to get going and break that 4 hour mark. They quickly parted ways with only some shaky cell phone footage of the embrace.

Not too long after that my friends finished 4 minutes ahead of schedule and were spared from the tragedy by those same 4 minutes. Everyone I knew that was there including my wife was OK. Countless others and their families were not.

I am thankful that my friends finished when they did. However, I still feel just as sad knowing what other families in the running community and Boston area are going through right now.

It puts things in prospective for me. I immediately left work and picked my kids up early from school. I took my daughter outside to do her favorite thing which is playing on the swing set. Then I did the "Law of Sines" proof with my 9 year old son(I know he is definitely a math geek and I am so proud of him because of that).

I was so concerned with image quality and whether she would get "That shot" of her friends that I really didn't give her the good bye I should have when I dropped her off at the airport last week.

I will never take life for granted again. Something spared her and her friends today. They were all headed for that fateful spot and they would have arrived there at that fateful time if it were not for fate. For reasons unknown to any of us they simply were not there at the right time.

I was hoping to see some really cool finishing shot or a neat video of our friends running by. However, now I really don't want to see any of the images of what happened today.

My friends all ran the races of their lives. One friend ran a 2:35:46 at age 46 and finished 4th overall in his category. My other friend ran a 2:58 in only her second marathon. However, they are unable to celebrate those victories because of the tragedy.

I wish there was something we could do to stop this senseless acts but I know deep down inside if someone wants to explode a bomb on a crowded street there really isn't anything we can do to stop them.

If we beef up security at the Boston marathon then they will just go to the La marathon, or a soccer match, or just pull up in-front of a tall building.

However, what we can do is stand together as a country and not let these senseless acts rule our lives. This kind of thing will happen again and again. Therefore, I am going to cherish every moment I have with my friends and family.

This doesn't mean that I am going to stop taking pictures or stop caring about getting the best image quality. I will still do those things because I enjoy it. It helps me relax when the stresses in my life make it hard for me to enjoy the company of the ones I love.

I will never forget 4/15/2013 and one day I will run the Boston Marathon. I have tried 5 times before but I simply could never meet that qualifying time. However, today's events have given me a new outlook. I WILL run that race one day and when I do, I will finish 4 minutes ahead of schedule just like my friends did today.

Any terrorist (or madman) attack on any target is of course shocking and appalling.

But the characteristics of targets chosen do matter.

If an attack is directed at symbols of (political or military) power, economics, etc, one can try to understand that the perpetrators had some kind of political or economic goal they wanted to express, doing it in a perverse and horrible way.

But something like this can only be directed at ordinary people, enjoying a day of mutual exhiliration.

Marathons are by definition events of peace, where participants from all over the globe come together to celebrate a common goal and passion in harmony, and in a sense of competition for many, but mainly a sense of community (and personal achievement) for most.

They are events that take not into account matters of race, political or economic status or religion.

That is a horrible target to pick.  It seems to be directed at the multi-cultural society itself.

In that sense, I can only hope this is the work of a psychopath, like random shootings in schools or movie theatres.

I feel it is so good that this terrible event is not scaring you away, but has strengthened your resolve to participate another time : the world community should not be spiraling down into fear because of the actions of a violent minority.

Please express my sympathies to all you know and have been touched personally.

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Roel Hendrickx
lots of images:
my E-3 user field report from Tunisian Sahara:

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