Friday, April 26, 2013

I Thought I Was Done...

... but I'm not.

Gawking at crime scenes is not cool. It seems disrespectful, making a spectacle of a place that is only remarkable for witnessing recent suffering and sorrow. The gawkers also strike me as impolite, or perhaps thoughtless — other passersby have had to walk off the curb and into the street because of mobs snapping photos of the damage at Abe & Louie's, the Forum, and so on.

Why would someone bring their little kids to town to see that, and pose them for photos? Beats me. I realize that kids need to learn about the world. But do they need to see bomb damage up close and stand where people suffered and died?

My husband reminded me that the Israelis have a protocol for eradicating all traces of a bombing so the area looks perfectly normal afterwards, as soon as possible. That way, terrorists can't leave their mark on the city and most citizens won't know if and where a tragedy occurred. I suppose that's what we're aiming to do on Boylston Street, to get everything back to normal. It doesn't mean we all pretend the bombing never happened. Those of us who live, work, and run around Back Bay will not need a shrine or memorial to remember, although our responses will be different and will change over time. Some of us will be traumatized for a long time, some will remember with sadness, some will feel lingering horror or fury. And I'm sure many would like to forget and just get on with their business.

The neighborhood is not back to normal. There's a sort of festival atmosphere on Boylston Street; it's extra crowded, and there are many tribute and memorial posters and shrines there, and on Newbury Street, too. I've heard different kinds of live music near the bomb sites, and thought it was wonderful. I'm in favor of anything that makes it easier for the people who are finding it painful to walk on those blocks of Boylston.

We can pray or meditate for free in Trinity Church right now, instead of having to pay $5 for the privilege. So don't miss out on that.

I find the gawkers hard to fathom. Last week, it never occurred to me that Marathon Sports would become our newest tourist attraction. It's hallowed ground, for sure. And I can't wait until we all treat it as such, and keep on walking.

1 comment:

  1. You said everything I have been thinking as a resident. The picture taking and gawking has been hard to see even knowing that the people doing it have their hearts in the right place.


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