NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

April 19, 2013

Hard to move beyond marathon images

Bill Plante's North Shore
Newburyport Daily News

---- — It is 11:10 on the morning of Wednesday, April 17 as I write this.

There has been a full sun in a cloudless azure sky since I rose at seven o’clock from a troubled sleep.

I had turned the television on during an early breakfast to find that little beyond the weather had changed. The resulting turmoil of what had happened in Boston on Monday could not be put to rest.

Over and over again, the two bombs exploded, and the seemingly instant response from doctors, nurses, police and volunteers were still scrambling to save lives.

So I opted for a walk during the better part of an hour, remarking to others met along the way of the splendor of the morning’s promise of Springtime unblemished.

Inevitably, however, television’s repetitive coverage of the bombing found its way into our conversations.

Perhaps more will have been discovered by this publication, but the seemingly endless coverage of the violent ending of Boston’s marathon will make us part of those probing for answers for some time.

It has an international reach from among the more than 17,000 finishers. Many are from away. Small wonder the world’s attention.

The unusual makes news, and this was all of that.

There is no number for those there or watching television who first saw the bombs burst but we must have been legion.

Neither is there a number of those now the world around who have seen them over and over again.

Whether intended or not, the bomber’s message proves that we are vulnerable.

There’s nothing new about that. We have spent great gobs of money for more than a decade dealing with it, and all things considered we have done it very well.

As for matters done very well, rarely do we witness immediate medical response to deadly calamity, and the outpouring of responders appeared to have been text book at its best.

Learning how to make a simple bomb does not require a master’s degree.

What is new is that someone found a way to make this happen despite security protection. Others have tried but most have failed.

As for blowing things up, some of us are called by our government from time to time to do just that.

My time was very long ago and far away together with a lot of company.

That certainly does not make me expert. It makes me concerned.

As for my restless night, maybe I shouldn’t have had that snack before bedtime.

Bill Plante is a Newbury resident.