The Day After the Boston Marathon Bombing

The Day After the Boston Marathon Bombing

The  day after the Boston Marathon Bombing…

The sun is finally back after such a delayed spring.  Yesterday,  half a million spectators lined 26 miles of roads, cheering on 27,000 marathon runners from across the U.S. and across the world.  Families with children, balloons, the blue of New England’s sky — and then  the explosions at the finish line that stunned  us all.

And life will be so different henceforth for us who have lived and worked in Boston — and loved this city.  I feel sorrowful,  mad , even a bit unhinged.   In a university town with over 250,000 college students and so much of America’s history at our doorstep, this wasn’t supposed to happen.

But it has been 12 years since 9/11 in New York City, just a few hours from here.  The scenes of carnage yesterday looked so much like what took place on that bright  September day  when terrorism ripped through America over a decade ago.   And now it has happened at my doorstep.

Bart and I live only minutes away from the city and 3 days ago, Rachel and I spent the day at  the  marathon’s  finish line for a mother-daughter lunch at Copley Square .  Yesterday bombs ripped through that exact area where I have spent hours  commuting by train when I was working at a nearby university.  And because  Rachel  is gutsy and defiant against this act of cowardice against us, she went back to work today, just blocks away from the crime scene.

It may be a while before we find  out who did this.  Whether it is home-grown or imported terrorism is irrelevant to those who have died, are fighting for their lives  this very day  in several Boston hospitals, or are maimed for the rest of their lives.  The fact is that we have been violated and we need justice.  And your prayers,  as we hobble on with the reality that safety is no longer guaranteed as we take public transportation, attend a public event,  or take children to one of the  happiest  events for Bostonians.

As Bart and I watched the events  replayed on TV, what touched me deeply was seeing the Philippine flag at the site of the first bomb explosion,  in a line of many other flags of the world.  There it was – red, white and blue, with the sun and the stars.  I cried.

We are all citizens of the world, whether you see  global  news on CNN,  or whether  I spot the flag of my home country in the midst of a terrorist bombing. I thank you for your concern for us, whether through emails or phone calls or  through your prayers.

This morning,  I woke up to an achingly  sunlit day.  In the midst of the devastating events just hours ago, I managed to have some strength to feed the birds in the backyard,  notice the first tulip blooming among the un-raked leaves of winter, listen to a hymn called “Be still and know…”

Perhaps  these little gestures will see me through the magnitude of human suffering – and evil– that is now part of my emotional landscape.  I do not intend to dwell forever on this terrain, but for now it hurts a lot.  Thank you for listening.


Priscilla Lasmarias-Kelso

AB English (1961);

Professor Lasmarias-Kelso is an Outstanding Sillimanian in the field of Education. She graduated magna cum laude from Silliman University with a degree of AB English in 1961. She completed her graduate studies in English and American Literature at Stanford University.