I have not stopped thinking about the Boston Marathon attacks since Monday night. Boston is not “my” city, but I know it very well, and many close friends and family live there.
All I can think about is how LUCKY I am to live in a country–and be from another–where attacks like this provoke such world-wide outrage. These type of attacks occur in other countries every day and don’t get any attention. As Westerners, we are lucky enough to be able to feel the full shock and horror at such an awful event; violence is not a part of our daily lives. I’ve had a little grey cloud hanging over my head the past few days (and it’s not just Dublin weather) because I just feel so sad for the world. The whole world….it all seems so grim.
The relief I feel in knowing all my loved ones are safe, and that the damage could have been so, so much worse, doesn’t out-weigh the guilt I feel knowing that other people deal with this kind of violence every day of their lives. I’m having a hard time justifying my anger because we all lead such lucky, lucky lives.
Ireland has certainly seen more of this kind of domestic terror that Americans. My family and I were in Northern Ireland when the bomb rocked Omagh in 1998. Being Americans on summer vacation, it was a totally surreal experience. Bombs don’t happen in our lives. I remember wondering how I was supposed to feel (scared? angry?) because the idea of it was too foreign for me to be able feel anything naturally.
I mostly feel sad now. Upset. I feel frustrated that it takes this kind of gruesome act to make me wonder why I don’t have the same reaction when I hear about explosions killing innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria (for example).
I hope that a positive effect of this atrocity is that we have a greater sympathy, and a common ache, when it happens anywhere in the world.