Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thoughts for Martin Richard; Who's Responsible; Westboro Blames Gays for Bombs



Yesterday, only moments before his dad was heading toward the finish line at the Boston Marathon, an 8 year old boy, Martin Richard, was waiting with his mom and sister on the sidelines. Like most little boys his age he loved baseball and riding his bike. I'm sure he was both thrilled and excited to see his dad finish one of the most difficult marathons in the world. And he must have been anticipating what most likely would have been an evening of family celebration.

In an instant, without warning, Martin Richard was taken from this world, and from his family and the people who knew and loved him, by a bomb that also left his mom and sister critically wounded. His mom underwent brain surgery last night; his sister lost a leg. The psychological wounds his entire family suffered at the hands of whoever caused this attack will never heal.

A single candle was lit in front of their house and a single word was written on the sidewalk: Peace.

You can read more here and here.

There's nothing anyone can say at a time like this to family and close friends who are just beginning to grieve for this child. There are no words that will help, and the best thing to do is offer our thoughts. I'm sure most are still in shock, and I've learned from personal experience that shock can sometimes be a good thing because it allows you to function on auto-pilot and get through all the things you need to get through without falling apart completely.

I don't have the names right now, but two others lost their lives in the attacks yesterday, and many others suffered serious injuries at the hands of whoever left the bombs and planned that attack. And though the magnitude of what happened yesterday is just beginning to set in for most of us, we're all thinking good thoughts and offering our support to everyone involved in yesterday's attacks. I also have no doubt justice will eventually be served to whoever took these lives and injured these innocent people without just cause.

Who's Responsible

There's very little information out there about who is responsible for the attacks at the Boston Marathon yesterday. From what I've gathered at several different places it seems to be more of a domestic type attack than a foreign attack.

The attacks "initially look more like the work of domestic terrorists than an international terrorist network," according to experts interviewed by the Boston Globe. "Early reports suggest that the devices were crudely made — otherwise, they probably would have killed many more people — making it unlikely that they were the work of a foreign government or global terrorist group, such as Al ­Qaeda." And yet, the paper acknowledges: "The bombs could have been set off by radical Islamists from the United States influenced by events or clerics in the Middle East, local extremists on either the left or right, or deranged killers with no ideological agenda."

Basically, it's still too soon to know and they are treating it as both a criminal investigation and a possible terrorist investigation. The sophisticated ways in which these investigations are handled are focused on details that most of us wouldn't even begin to think about, and those doing this are trained professionals who know what to look for. I haven't heard the mention of video cameras yet, but if Boston is anything like Philadelphia there are video cameras all over the city in hidden places that have helped Philadelphia police find criminals they wouldn't have been able to pinpoint ten years ago without this the technology. I used to think that kind of surveillance was an invasion of privacy. Not so much anymore.

You can read more here.

Westboro Baptist Church Blames Gays for Bombs

With a reaction to yesterday's attacks at the Boston Marathon that wasn't all that surprising, the Westboro Baptist Church went on a social media rant blaming gays. What truly amazes me that they would even think this way during such a devastating time, when so many were injured and a child lost his life. The magnitude of that negative thought process just passes me by. And it also makes me wonder just what is at the core of a religious organization like this.

This is what they said on Twitter:

In light of today's events, I must again ask: How is that fag marriage idea working out for you, America?!?!

In direct contrast to theWestboro Baptist Church, this is what Boston Pride said:

As members of a community that loves and cherishes the city of Boston, our thoughts are with those impacted by today’s tragedy at the Boston Marathon – those who were injured or killed, the runners, the Boston Athletic Association, residents, spectators, and others. If you are looking for someone that was at the Boston Marathon you can call The Mayor’s Hotline at 617.635.4500. Also, if you saw something or have any information that could help please call the TIP LINE at 1.800.494.TIPS (8477).

Tony and I know a lot of people in the gay community from Boston from years of going to Provincetown at least twice a year. It's a close community, and always very friendly and welcoming to people who aren't from Boston. I'm not surprised they reacted the way they did, by offering support giving out information.

You can read more here. 

As a sidenote, I hesitated to post this about Westboro, but decided to do it to show the way Boston Pride responded to the attacks. I think that's the kind of thing most people already know about the LGBT community. But for those who don't, it might be interesting to learn.

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