To Boston, From Kabul with Love

Posted: April 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
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By Michael Stelzer Jocks, History Faculty.

Like millions of Americans, I was saddened and shocked by what happened in Boston on Monday.  Three people, including an 8 year old boy, were killed, and over 170 were injured in the bombing at the Boston Marathon.  As we have seen so many times, American national bonds after such tragic events always seem to be strengthened.  Whether Democrat or Republican, the President inevitably leads the people in mourning. Public officials reassure citizens that justice will be served.  Psychologists remind us that we need to go on with our lives, and not be overtaken by fear. As with Oklahoma City, the Atlanta Olympics, and even 9-11, we will mourn, we will find justice, and we will keep living.  We hope that this will not happen again in America, but, unfortunately, we assume it will.

In other parts of the world, there is no assumption of a future bombing; only assurance. Two days removed from Boston, and I can’t stop thinking about the ubiquity of crude terrorism in other nations.  In Syria, Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan, explosions in public places are a weekly, sometimes daily occurrence.  Of course, I realized that before Boston.  But, how many times have you (and I know you have, because I do it to) simply shaken your head when you hear of 50 women and children killed by a car bomb in Kabul?  When such news comes across the wire, the radio, or the internet, most Americans turn the page, decrease the volume, or navigate to another site.  I accuse Americans of this because I am an American, and I am guilty.  Afghan, Iraqi, and Syrian children being killed by pressure cooker bombs doesn’t shock Americans any longer; but, it should.  After Monday, we need to appreciate that Boston and Kabul are not that far apart.



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