NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

April 18, 2013

Amid chaos, courage and compassion shines through

Among the more inspiring stories to emerge from the horror of the Boston Marathon bombing have been those that tell of the heroic actions of those who responded to the blasts.

We are proud to hear of three Newburyport residents — Dixie Harrington, Courtney Luck and Dr. Jennifer Finch — who sprinted from their medical assignments in the finish line medical tent to come to the aid of victims. The scene of suffering and trauma was unlike anything they had ever seen. Their instinct to help and save lives guided them through. There is no doubt that their actions, and the actions of hundreds of other volunteers, saved lives.

Those stories, as well as the outpouring of support Bostonians and New Englanders have received from around the nation and the world, give us confidence that, while we are still reeling from Monday’s tragedy, goodness ultimately triumphs over evil.

The marathon bombing may well have been the most photographed terror attack in history. Thousands of photographers, both amateur and professional, were on hand recording videos and taking still images of the runners as they finished the race. They documented the explosions and their aftermath from virtually every angle. Many of those videos and images have been published or posted to the Internet.

The common theme running through them all is the great number of people running toward the locations of the blasts. Many of these, of course, were professional first responders — police, firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, doctors and nurses. Others were ordinary citizens — spectators and runners — who rushed to help comfort the injured.

The scene immediately following the explosions was complete chaos. It was unclear whether more blasts would follow or what further mayhem might ensue. Yet people saw that there were many injured, some severely, and they moved in to help.

This is heroism, pure and simple. It is doing what must be done, without regard to one’s personal safety.

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