Yesterday’s race began with the 23,000 runners pausing for 26 seconds of silence in honor of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. Mile marker 26 near the finish line was decorated with the Newtown, Conn seal and dedicated to the memory of those lives lost there. Now in the shadows of that memorial is the stained sidewalks where many of the spectators were watching. The event draws close to 500,000 people.
A deeper stain marks the soul of our nation as we grieve for those killed, those in serious condition, those injured and those terrified. Agencies are combing through the site as the general public combs through reports for clues to discover who is responsible for this horrific action.
The race was held on Patriot’s Day commemorating the battles of Lexington and Concord, which were fought near Boston in 1775. While international terrorism is considered as a source, the third week of April does contain a number of unhappy anniversaries: the Oklahoma City Bombing (April 19, 1995), the Waco assault (April 19, 1993), the Columbine School Shooting (April 20, 1999), and the Virginia Tech massacre (April 16, 2007), for starters. Two of those tragedies—the Virginia Tech massacre and the Waco assault—were on Monday, the Patriot's Day of those years.
For now, we can identify with Jeremiah 8:15
“We hoped for peace
but no good has come,
for a time of healing
but there is only terror.”
A prayer for Boston and our nation:
Oh God, bring healing and peace.