When Your City Is Wounded

Boston Deals With Aftermath Of Marathon Explosions

EJ Graff, a Bostonian, tries to process yesterday’s events:

To cripple the city all you’d have to do is take a gasoline tanker and crash it in one of the tunnels built by the Big Dig—you could take down a couple of major arteries and shut down the city for months. On the other hand, if you wanted to strike at our symbolic heart, at what it means to belong to this ludicrously snobby little city built on a harbor that was filled in, if you wanted to grab international headlines on a day when ordinary and extraordinary people from around the world were cramping their legs and exercising their hearts with ordinary and extraordinary joy, if you wanted to make a statement about what it means to be an American, then attacking the Marathon—which belongs to us all—on Patriots’ Day might be just right.

Kornacki, who grew up outside of the city, adds his thoughts:

Between texts and calls to friends and family, I lived on Twitter Monday afternoon, clicking on every link with new information and retweeting anything that seemed useful. It was Twitter at its best. It was also Twitter at its worst, a combination of tasteless tweets from the usual suspects and self-satisfied policing, as if what really mattered was who was saying what on social media. I had no patience for it, or for the speculation about who might have done it and why, or for anyone trying to wring some kind of deeper political or philosophical meaning from any of it. In every picture, I saw home. In every face, I saw an old friend or classmate or teacher colleague or neighbor.  We’ll find out who did this, hopefully soon, and part of me is trying to imagine a punishment harsh enough to fit this crime. The rest of me just wants to cry.

(Photo: A discarded runners bib is viewed near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. By Spencer Platt/Getty Images)