Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I stand with Boston; I stand with America

I'm not sure we learned anything this week.

We knew before Monday that there are crazy people in the world who think it's OK to kill children and innocents in order to make a statement.

We knew before Monday that there are good people who'll run toward the danger to help in a crisis.

So yes. There are bad guys and girls in the world. Prisons are full of 'em. Everyone has someone in their life they could happily live without ever seeing again. But those people are annoying. They're not evil.

By and large, we're mostly good people. We all have strengths and weaknesses. And many of us are extraordinarily good when push comes to shove.

Why is it so easy to forget that? Why is it so easy to focus on what can divide us rather than what can make us stronger?

Would someone please tell Congress that most of us don't really care what goes on in each other's bedrooms. Most of don't see a need for civilians to own weapons of mass destruction. Most of us would rather avoid a fight than start one. Most of us remember that it wasn't that long ago that our families were hitting this shore for the first time -- and that nearly all of them contributed positively to the shaping of this country.

As we start this week fresh, I hope we'll remember that Bruins and Red Sox games where the audience took over the national anthem and sang every damn word loud and proud; when Neil Diamond flew in to sing "Sweet Caroline" to give the crowd a jolt; the police officer who delivered milk to the family on lockdown whose babies needed it; the first responders who gave their lives in Texas, the innocents --and the innocence -- lost.

The police who took a somewhat maddening meticulous (to those of us watching safely on TV) approach to apprehending the suspect as safely as possible.

I hope we remember that we're Americans and that we stand for opportunity for everyone.

I don't know why those men decided to turn against the country that gave them safe haven. I don't know if lax regulation made that fertilizer plant blow up in Texas, and I don't know why anyone thinks violence is the best route to accomplish a dream.

But I know that when I told my daughter that a state rep. in Arkansas made fun of Boston liberals for staying in their homes, saying he bet they wished they had assault rifles, she said, "Well that's stupid. They were doing what the police asked them to do so no one else got hurt, right?"

And when I told her that a U.S. Congressman thought we needed to tighten our immigration laws because of the Boston Marathan bombing, she said. "We're all immigrants, aren't we?"

And when we talk about two people wanting to be married, she doesn't ask if they're a same-sex couple, she just celebrates their love.

She's a month away from being 12.

There's hope, America. Don't forget that.

Remember those voices lifted in song.

Remember David Ortiz -- born in the Dominican Republic who became a U.S. citizen in 2008 -- at the Red Sox game telling the crowd:

"This jersey that we wear today, it doesn’t say Red Sox. It says Boston. We want to thank you, Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, the whole police department, for the great job that they did this past week. This is our f–king city! And nobody’s going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong.”

Remember the cop who got milk for that family.

Remember Patton Oswalt: "The good outnumber you and we always will."

Remember the couple who saw something odd about their boat and followed the request of law enforcement to report it rather just go out to fix it.

For the sake of us all, just please remember.

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