Jeffrey Goldberg, a Bloomberg reporter, reminded us the other day of the Palestinian suicide bomber who hit a Jerusalem café killing seven people, including an American-born ER doctor who had treated countless Palestinian and Israeli bomb victims. His daughter, who was to be married the following day, perished with him.
Goldberg visited Café Hillel the following morning and found it open for business. People filled the chairs, reading newspapers and drinking coffee. Business as usual as the patrons carried on with their lives.
The Boston Marathon has been the epicenter of my family for 12 years. In that time one, or both of us, has crossed the illustrious finish line. Our children usually stand in the very spot where the bombs were planted. My finishing time is about when the explosions occurred. Three years ago, my husband and I helped found the charity team for Project Hope, which moves women out of poverty in our great city. We went from a scrappy little team to 32 members who raised $175,000 this year to significantly change lives. We stand proudly with the thousands of charity runners who continue to make a difference in Boston. Yesterday, we were lucky to hear that all of our teammates survived. However, one lost his good friend. Am I sad? Am I angry? Do I want justice? Yes to all these things.
But then I think about what Goldberg said. We may catch the animals. We may not. The criminals may be similar to those we face in Israel, or possibly more like Oklahoma City copycats. In the end, who did it doesn’t matter. You can’t take it back. What truly counts is our freedom. Our right to thrive. Businesses like Marathon Sports should be patronized immediately and the Boston Marathon should open 2014 registration earlier than normal, allowing all of the brave and wonderful people who dared to run 26.2, and raised money for some of the best causes in the world, finish what they started. Right on Hereford, left on Boylston with a slow and triumphant fist pump at the finish line, is a runner’s victory against terrorism and all that it tries to accomplish.
Golda Meir, the same woman who never negotiated with terrorists, said it better than I can: “I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.” With a heavy heart for all that was lost on Monday, it is my dream that we will band together and celebrate the good in everyone. Look for me at the finish line next year. If I am not crossing it, I will be standing on the sidelines high-fiving as many runners as humanly possible.