After Boston and Coronavirus: A Test of the American Spirit
Outside the Realm
I remember where I had been during the 117th Boston Marathon, on April 15, 2013. Two bombs would send, our fellow citizens, our friends, family, and loved ones away from us too soon. I was not in Boston that day.
I have no representation in Boston but I did feel the country, if it makes sense, brace ever so slightly. The process had become routine. A horrible thing happens in order for the country to feel more vulnerable, at an empowering time. I understood what would happen next.
On September 11, 2001, America lost its identity. There was a dent in the country's armor. Other countries around the globe could now become true violent threats to American pride, power, and diligence. While I had concerns in September 2001, I was calm in April 2013.
I would look over the one term in both September and April for my answer. Why be in alarm then and be calm now? The word terror, specifically one that inspires fear, a definition from Merriam-Webster's Dictionary has duality.
While terror is the same word, in September and April, it feels more horrifying in September than it does now, in April.
In April, it allows me to offer a challenge to almost any threat, to American existence, from another country, if the threat is tough enough to take on the challenge. I will offer this challenge near the end of the article.
1) On April 15, 2013, what were your feelings on the catastrophic incident?
2) What one thing makes you American?
3) If you read this story, what about the American spirit that can help during this 2020 pandemic?
Please comment below.
Things Got Tight
The security around the president and the other United States elected officials would go up. States with upcoming public events would have to tighten security for all Americans to have both a safe and secure time.
Americans, all over the nation, would become more vigilant and become watchful. National monuments all over the country would require more protection.
The country would enter a state of, almost constant, alertness. I remember that feeling of alarm on September 11, 2001, but not this time.
Terror, in September, can describe both the individuals who crash planes into large buildings to strike fear into a nation and can describe two brothers who follow what they believe will make an impact on this country, to send every American hiding in cupboards.
Terror can also reflect benign misunderstanding. In school, I had one incident with a fellow student from South America. He had a very different perception of America. He did not like American capitalism, specifically.
He did not like American jeans. American companies had come to his country; would open their shops and sell his fellow compatriots jeans, at high prices, and told them to love it.
The jeans, and similar companies, were a clear representation of America, in his eyes. They were pushy, overvaluing, and, maybe even, a stuffy figure that comes into his country and tries to push its values on it.
I cannot say whether his values are different now. I do know America is not very high on his list of some friendly nations. I could only begin to imagine, in talking to other students, the depth of this common theme.
America has many different meanings to many different eyes, ears, and voices. As a result, we, as a country, must deal with threats from North Korea, and bombings in Boston and New York and must accept protection from possible bombings or threats of bombings at another running event in Philadelphia.
When benign misunderstanding becomes malignant, this can cause any person, place, or thing great harm. If you add stubbornness, doctrine, or any number of factors that block misunderstanding from becoming understanding, the message of understanding is something others can ignore.
I only hope in what I write can reach whomever it may, and however, it might, to make one clear message.
If you hate America, so much, become better than the American idea, person, country, or thing you dislike. Do not hide in caves, do not hide behind guards, do not hide behind the military, and do not hide within the American country that feeds your bellies.
As Far As I Know (Update from Philadelphia 4/28/2020)
The current COVID-19 is a sheer global sneak attack no one expected. However, what did happen in these United States is a shock. This country had the job of being the country other countries follow after.
Once we got hit, it became clear, we were not ready. It feels like control has returned. The virus may have eased. The work of the virus, however, cannot be measured.
This is a test of the American spirit. We listen as a unit. Wash those hands for 20 seconds with soap and hot water. Stay indoors, if possible. Do not touch the eyes, nose, mouth, or face.
As Far As I Know (Update on Boston 8/16/2013)
The hardest thing for me to do is to recount my perspective of an event like the Boston Bombings.
Moreover, everything that happened after that process. In 2015, One Fund Boston no longer accept donations after disbursing 80 million dollars to victims and families of the 2013 Boston Marathon starting December 15, 2014.
However, in 2016, One Fund Boston presented a series of lessons for all involved. In the end, 61 million dollars reached both victims and their families. The rush to aid offered problems as it related to addressing the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing before the next crisis, as issues arose with the IRS, and simply determining the best way to distribute funds.
Boston is a beautiful city, with many layers. I found it to be very comfortable and very friendly on my visit, as a visitor. The hope is, in Boston, strength and unity will connect all of its occupants like never before. The hope is cities outside of Boston will see this metropolitan's actions and will connect and unite similarly.
Make it your purpose to be better. Do not place bombs in places to scare people. Become the force to fend off the bomb threats. Do not hold guns to people’s heads, from other countries, in hopes of seeing some change. Fight for America and make it wish it could be in those shoes, your shoes, which are different from ours.
America is a land of opportunity. In this land of opportunity, it tries to place everyone on an even playing field. However, certain stars on that field rise above everyone else. Define your field. Get your trade. Get your career and make your wealth but make your mark safely.
Challenge America or any American ideal socially, economically, or by some other means that involve defeating this country, if you should choose but safely.
Become better, but not through any violence, than your enemy. Scale the higher mountain, bring the greater idea, and follow the higher path. If you fail, relax and come back to challenge America repeatedly; challenge America until you get satisfaction, through your challenge, but not through explosives.
That is my challenge to any country, dictator, or person who has a strong dislike of this country and its values.
Challenging this country, in other ways, can only make it stronger. If we all challenge ourselves, on this planet, in a safe way, it can only help us move forward together to places we have yet to define as a whole.