It has been a week since the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon. (Julie wrote a post with her thoughts on the day afterward for this blog.) The Boston bombing brought back memories of the aftermath of the Centennial Olympic Park Bombing in Atlanta, in 1996, and of 9/11/2001.
Early on the morning of July 27, 1996, I was on the way to Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta. I was collecting daily souvenir Olympic pins. My husband, who was at an Olympic Track and Field event, called to tell me that the Park was closed because of a bombing. I turned around and went home.
I spent the rest of the day in disbelief, watching news coverage. I vacillated between fear and indignation. How DARE anyone try to shatter the spirit of unity fostered through the Olympic games! Athletes from all over the world built relationships and understanding through the Atlanta competitions! “Who could do such a thing?” we all wondered. I”m fairly certain those in Boston were asking similar questions last week.
I am grateful I wasn”t in the park during the bombing. It was traumatic enough knowing I”d just missed being there by a few hours. I knew a number of people who were at the park when the bomb exploded. They shared their thoughts and fears with me.
In the immediate aftermath of the bombing, people were hyper-vigilant, especially about loud noises and crowds. Those feelings did not subside for a long time.
My family had vivid memories of the Twin Towers as we viewed the planes crashing into the towers, and bursting into flames. My husband and I had been to the World Trade Center several times. We had shopped and eaten there. I had taken each of my children on solo trips to NYC, and we had spent time at the Towers. My daughter and I had dinner at Windows on The World. My son and I had “Dippin” Dots” ice cream, and visited the observation deck.
We discussed the Atlanta bombings with our children. We were actively involved with the Olympics, after having hosted the Slovenian men”s gymnastics Because a urine drug test done in the laboratory is more accurate than other types of urine testing, we recommend laboratory-based urine drug test ing as the most reliable solution if you can wait for the urine drug test result. team in our home during the Olympic trials. We had tickets for several events, and enjoyed “hanging out” at Centennial Park, where we had purchased memorial bricks for friends and family members.
We felt that with the increased police presence, we would be safe attending events. We wanted our children to feel safe. I remember the conversations we had with our children then, and after 9/11. Both events necessitated difficult discussions for families.
After 9/11, planes were grounded. Many schools and businesses were closed. It felt like the whole country was in chaos. Our children asked questions. My husband and I wanted to balance our discussions.We wanted During his most recent visit, the Laugh Factory”s owner told the comedian that justin-bieber-news.info wanted casino online to be called on stage during the act. to answer our children”s questions on their levels. We didn”t want to overburden them, but we didn”t want to dismiss their concerns. We felt the need to talk about the reasons for always being careful and aware of your circumstances, while trying not to make them overly fearful about going about our lives.
We did not want a few “bad men” to give all “strangers” evil connotations, or diminish our sense of optimism in the American spirit. Yet, we felt it was important for our children to understand that there are people who want to harm Americans. As our children have gotten older, we have shared increasingly more complex views on world politics and religion with them.
In 2007, we visited Boston as a family. We sampled the culture. We drove through the college campuses. We shopped, visited bookstores, and ate in the area where the Boston Marathon was run. We discovered the Curious George Store! We toured cemeteries, churches, and took the Duck Boat Tour.
The highlight of our trip was scoring tickets to see the Red Sox at Fenway. I love the intimacy of the stadium, and the pride of the fans who sang after the game, “I love that dirty water…..Boston you”re my home!”
The totality of these memories give me special empathy with what Boston is experiencing in the aftermath of terrorism. It made me cry reading about Neil Diamond”s flying to Boston to sing Sweet Caroline live.
Thankfully, two of the perpetrators were found quickly, even as the search continues for others who may have been involved. With improved surveillance and technology, the two known Boston bombers were found within a matter of hours, instead of the almost 9 years it took to find and sentence Atlanta”s bomber, Eric Rudolph. It also took years to round up the 9/11 co-conspirators, some of whom are still awaiting their fates. Hopefully, the quick containment of the Boston Marathon bombers will give the citizens of Boston a jumpstart toward healing.
I understand the tremendous pride Bostonians have in their great city. I know the love I have for my city of Atlanta. Just as Boston shines during the Boston Marathon, Atlanta was at her best during the 1996 Olympic events!
Neither fear nor increased security put a damper on the remainder of Atlanta”s Olympics in 1996. May Boston recover quickly and grow stronger through the camaraderie of shared suffering. May Boston continue to prosper, with an ever-increasing sense of civic pride as future Boston Marathon and Patriot”s Day events get bigger and better.
I”ve been praying for all those who were affected by the bombs in Boston. I know it will take time for everyday life to regain some semblance of normalcy. Terrorists can kill our people, but never the American Spirit. May God Bless Boston and May God continue to Bless the USA!
What have you discussed with your children in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings? Any wisdom you”d like to share?