Courage in the age of cowards

I will be looking at many photos of Boston today. I know many of my journo friends will do the same as we try to apply our usual workday logic to something without logic.

In Sydney we awoke to learn of another terrorist carnage on US soil and we all thought of 9/11.

What makes someone else wake up, roll out of bed and think: On today’s agenda,  I’m going to bomb innocent people celebrating as they complete a marathon, kill some of those clapping and cheering and so swiftly ruin many lives, too many to ever get a total number on.

So it’s a renewed panic and obsession with safety as we absorb why a happy and proud marathon crowd had to be punctured with such brutality.

I moved to NYC with my family four years after the attacks on the WTC and Pentagon but you could still taste it in the air –  the fear, the suspicion.

We’d flown out of the UK and two days later, London was embroiled in the suicide bombs of 7/7 so terrorism was now a factor in everyday life.

Sure the locals in our neighbourhood of Tribeca were warm and accommodating to our London/Aussie ways but they were still hurting. I expected nothing less. We felt honoured to be living there. We also visited Boston, seduced by its old school asthetic, pride and charm.

“Thanks for moving into this part of New York”,  they’d say back in Manhattan, slap on the back and big smiles forthcoming. As if we’d choose to live anywhere else.

The bartender across the street from us pulled open a box and showed me a picture of the engine from one of the doomed WTC planes. It was on the sidewalk. “Look that’s here”, he said, pointing to the path where it lay next to our building.

On some levels, this is what Bostonians will now face, piecing together their neighbourhood, measuring it against the effect of 4/15. They cannot receive too much love and support right now from all of us.





  1. Jen

    It’s the encouragement from strangers in a cheering crowd along the route that gives us runners the happy vibes to press on. Selfishly, after today’s event, I’m already missing the little kids who would stick their hands out to get a “low-five” from passing runners.

  2. Helen

    The best of spirit and the very worst. How can you justify killing an eight-year old child who’s waiting excitedly to see his dad run through to the finishing line ?

    • whatlouthinks

      Thank you for your feedback Helen – To me that is the story, it is almost biblical in it’s contrast : the pure excitement of a little boy watching a race the whole family has focussed on for months and the single minded ambition of a terrorist to murder him. xLO

  3. Jude

    Seriously! There are some sad and sick people out there. To turn on the news and be confronted by such a site as people being blown over by the impact of a bomb at the end of a marathon!! I hate how it instills fear in us for not only humanity today but the future – what will it be like when our kids are adults? We can only hope that most of the worlds population will overcome what they have previously and continue on with strength and courage and decency and hopefully over rule these inhumane cowards!

  4. whatlouthinks

    Agreed on so many levels Jude. What evil will face our kids as they navigate life as adults? How do we equip them with the sensibility and calm to live their potentail without scaring them to bits? Every day the modern mother’s dilemma gets more loaded xLO

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