Somehow it’s suddenly mid-April. Did anyone else miss that time warp or is it just me? After the past week we’ve had, however, I can’t say I’m too upset time is moving so fast. From the Boston Marathon bombing to the tragedy in West, Texas, the past week has reminded me yet again that my hands here in mid-Missouri are much too small to catch all the pain I see.
I didn’t lose anyone in either tragedy, nor am I from either place, yet I still felt all of the weight that comes with knowing your fellow people are suffering unjustly. It’s a heaviness you just can’t shake. And I feel over the course of my lifetime, be it 9/11, Newtown or the recent horrors, I’ve encountered more and more this sensation of having to recover from a tragedy that I didn’t personally witness.
On the day the bombs went off in Boston, I was stationed as perusal in the Missourian newsroom. Instantly, everyone snapped into action. Twitter and the wires were checked. Frantic phone calls were made. And I realized there was no place I would rather be. Because a community is a fortress when everything around you seems to be crumbling in slow-motion. And I realized when a local newspaper is doing it’s job correctly, it’s a community. It’s a fortress.
Our community outreach team at the Missourian truly amazed me that day. If the Missourian acted as fortress to Columbia, it was that team that was building us up brick by brick. Led by Joy Mayer, the group of six or so tracked down every single runner from Columbia that was in Boston. Through emailing, calling and a lot of social media networking, they confirmed that all 15 runners from Columbia appeared to be safe.
Friends and family members of these runners must have felt a sense of protection, knowing a group of total strangers was working so diligently to find those they loved. In the midst of sadness and anger, what a beautiful picture that is. What a fortress.