WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Monday’s Boston Marathon attacks may have been the first time we as a country have had to feel such a level of shared terror and vulnerability since the 9/11 attacks on New York and D.C.
The uncomfortable similarity between these two events – separated by more than a decade – is the feeling that it could happen again.
“Honestly we’re such an open society here and we’re such a civilized country that we sort of live with this vulnerability,” NBC News’ Luke Russert told 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny on Tuesday.
And as Russert says, that feeling will resonate in our hearts and minds for some time to come, because that vulnerability isn’t going away.
“There’s just absolutely no way I think people would stand to have the type of TSA lines that we see at the airport at Nats Park,” Russert said.
The truth of the matter is, we attend baseball games and football games and hockey games because it’s simple. You go. You sit down. You watch.
We’ll tolerate a little extra wand waving when the President’s in the building, but if standing in line just to get inside became a permanent fixture, it would ruin the experience.
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Millions of souls were unanimously crushed on April 16, 2013 as we realized the impact of the situation. As the news crossed Twitter feeds and breaking news alerts filled television screens, there was something very uniquely crippling about bombs going off under the finish line of a marathon.
What’s supposed to be a moment of personal triumph, worked towards for months – in some cases years – was cruelly and viciously turned on its head in an act of terror.
And in Boston of all places, that river runs deeper, as marathon day truly is a special occasion for a city that any street corner on any other day of the year may be divided over sports rivalries, politics or racial tensions.
“It’s this one day where everyone sort of puts aside any of the differences they have,” Russert said. “There’s no Red Sox/Yankees, it’s not black or white, liberal/conservative. Everyone goes out and enjoys the marathon.”
And now it’s up to Americans everywhere to dig deep, and provide the strength in numbers everyone affected by this tragedy in Boston needs; to provide the hope only the support of an entire nation can offer in an utterly hopeless situation.
But how do you turn to sports for a break from the hysteria, when this act of terror occurred during a sporting event? That is perhaps what makes this disaster so gripping. Where to turn for relief?
Regrettably, we have a blueprint for such an otherwise undocumented path to healing, and the answer remains the same.
“Never forget,” we used to say, and there’s a reason we recited it like scripture after September 11, 2001.
“Never forget” reminds us we were able to find strength during the most debilitating time in our collective history, and we demonstrated our resolve by standing together and resuming our normal lives in lockstep.
We raised our voices, as stars and stripes rippled above our heads – tattered but still waving – and reminded the world why were the home of the brave. We did it as we filled baseball and football stadiums to the brim, coast-to-coast.
And we’ll do it again.
Hear the full interview with Luke Russert below…