There’s been no shortage of news this week, but nothing has been as intriguing as the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath.
The tentacles on this story have been far-reaching in many directions, with local connections, and have affected everybody differently.
We’ve gone from the initial reports of two explosions at the finish line (I first read this on Twitter) to a major metropolitan city being shut down amid a manhunt. (It’s likely we’ve even taken another step forward between the time this column was printed on newsprint Friday night and the time it ended up in your driveway.)
In between, we’ve seen a city and a country come together and media outlets embarrass themselves. We went from reports of a suspect in custody to nobody in custody to the FBI showing us the faces of two people it wanted in custody. We went from trying to figure out who the two suspects were to one being killed and the second being on the run – all in a span of 12 hours.
Even after all of that, there’s one part of the story I can’t stop thinking about: Martin Richard.
Richard was the 8-year-old boy killed by one of Monday’s bombs. He was one of three people killed. Krystle Campbell, 29, and Lu Lingzi, 23, also lost their lives. My heart goes out to their families and friends.
Richard’s death hit me harder than the others because of my children. Anytime a child dies, I feel terrible. It wasn’t until I had children of my own that I also started feeling angry when I’d read or hear of the death of a youngster, whether it be at the hands of a parent or – as in this case – the result of a stranger’s act.
I first learned of Richard’s death on Facebook when I saw a picture of him in a Boston Bruins hockey sweater at a hockey rink. That immediately made the connection with my kids even stronger, since they both play hockey.
It’s hard to think, “What if that was my son?”
You read about how the Richard family was together eating ice cream and cheering marathon runners one moment and a bomb goes off the next. You feel disbelief and an uncontrollable wave of sadness.
Then you see a photo of Martin Richard standing near bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev moments before the bombs went off, and you still feel an overwhelming sense of disbelief. Sadness is replaced by anger.
Right now, I feel tired. Physically and emotionally.
Mostly, I’m tired of innocent people, especially children, losing their lives to needless violence.
• Jason Schaumburg is editor of the Northwest Herald. He encourages you to hug your children a little longer than usual today. Reach him at 815-459-4122 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @Schaumy.