While I was not personally present at either of these events, my heart goes out to both the victims and the survivors of these awful examples of human cruelty and ruthlessness.
I was in London at the time of the Boston Massacre, trying to win support for the colonies in their struggles against British domination. And I was aghast to learn, belatedly, of the events of Lexington and Concord. As a peace-loving man myself, always trying to avoid conflict if at all possible, I feared the worst. I sincerely hoped that the next news report would not be an outright declaration of war.
As for the Boston Marathon, I had virtually just found myself in this strange new future world of the 21st century, thanks to some odd phenomenon of time travel. I had mysteriously and inexplicably landed somewhere in the state of Massachusetts, and was still trying to get my bearings. And then, suddenly, as if I weren’t already quite dazed and bewildered, the whole country erupted into chaos with the bombs on Boylston Street.
Ben’s Marathon message on the web
At the time, I did what came naturally to me: as a writer, I prepared a short reflection on the Marathon tragedy, which was “published” on this thing you call the internet with the assistance of a helpful friend who volunteered his expertise with these new technologies. My message took the form of a brief collection of pictures, narrated by my thoughts on both the chaos and the compassion, the heartbreak and the heroism of that day. It can still be viewed today, by going to http://benfranklinexclusive.weebly.com/ben-on-the-boston-marathon.html
Which brings us to Marathon 2014
And now, here we are, one year later, on the eve of another marathon. Are we any wiser or better equipped to understand what occurred in those dark days? Has justice been served… has healing been achieved… have we all learned how to truly prevent more bloodshed?
My personal opinion is that the conversations have only just begun. There is so much more light to be cast on this subject, so much more struggling within the collective conscience of this world. If I had known the perfect, foolproof way to prevent lives being lost at Lexington and Concord, or in all the battles of the American Revolution, I would have eagerly stepped forward to offer whatever I could to bring us back from the brink. But alas, I was an ocean away, and just as distant in my comprehension of what was happening.
And so it is with the Marathon, as well. Perhaps all we can do, in our unpretentious humility and ordinary humanity, is to pray to whichever divine Being we worship, to join together with others of whatever faith we profess, and hope that Providence will keep everyone safe in the days, months, and years ahead.
Your humble servant,