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Bill Soistmann
Programmer, Educator, Trouble Maker
Programmer, Educator, Trouble Maker

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Keswick 2014

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I can't really think much about anything other than the tragedy in Boston. It's a sad, sad day. A marathon is a prime example of people of all walks of life coming together for a celebration of human achievement. That someone could think there is any good reason to plant bombs at an event like that - or anywhere - is impossible to fathom.

I remember learning of the bombing in Oklahoma City like it was yesterday. What I remember during times like these is my reaction. I popped in to see my mom, something I tried to do a few times a week back then, and I could tell right away that something was wrong. 

"Can you believe this?" she said. 

"Believe what?"

"There was a bombing in Oklahoma," she said as she pointed to the TV. 

I sat and watched with her, but it didn't bother me like it did her. Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm a sensitive guy. I cry at movies, I was in tears on 9/11 ( even before I learned of the bombings - somehow I knew something was going on ), I even tear up during episodes of Undercover Boss ( and walking dead, and Glee ) I kid you not! But this didn't seem to register with me. I think about that all the time. I was certainly old enough to understand the world was full of tragedy. I was even a father by that point. But somehow the remoteness of it, or the politicization of it, or something - I didn't really get it. I didn't really "feel" for the people who had to deal with the reality of it - people who were close to it.

Almost exactly four years later, I had a completely different reaction to the shootings in Columbine. I was devastated. How senseless. What might we have done to reach out to these boys? What might we have been able to do to better protect the children after the shooting started? I could think of nothing else for weeks.Perhaps because my son was now in school. Perhaps because I had recently left teaching. I don't know. But I felt "connected" to it somehow. 

My first thought when I heard the news from Boston was for a friend I knew had run the marathon last year. I immediately verified that he was not in Boston this year. Next my thoughts turned to my online friends. For whatever reason, a significant percentage of my online friends live and/or work in the Boston area. My thoughts were immediately about their safety. The ones that came to mind at the time are all safe. 

Now I can think of and pray for the people I don't know. I've learned over the past 18 years that we are all connected. This makes me think of a lot of other things, and about some things some friends shared yesterday, but I don't want to say too much. I don't want to get on my high horse and tell anyone else how to think or feel. 

The Chicago Tribune says it like this ...
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