Last Monday was a typical busy day for me.
I got to work around noon and knocked out a story about the Old Spanish Trail Rodeo. I then went about some afternoon tasks before heading to the District 2-6A softball tournament for the game between Crestview High School and Choctawhatchee.
Midway through the afternoon, sometime shortly after 3 p.m., I was checking something on espn.com when I saw the news of the bombing at the Boston Marathon.
At that moment a cold chill ran down my spine much in the same it had Sept. 11, 2001. But at the same time it felt all so different.
The Boston Marathon is one of the great sporting events in the nation. It might be, along with the Super Bowl and World Series, the most recognized sporting event in the country. There is no denying it is the most famous running event in the United States.
I can think of few more strategic places for terrorists to hit this country than at a major sporting event. And what better venue to plant homemade bombs than on the streets of a major city where hundreds and thousands of spectators were lining the sidewalks?
We all know the story by now. Two bombs exploded, three people were killed and hundreds wounded.
Two brothers, one of whom is dead, are now being blamed for the act. And none of it makes sense yet.
We go to sporting events to celebrate our team and American spirit. We attend to cheer for our favorite athletes and teams. Nobody goes to a race thinking it will end with a bombing.
Even as the tragic events unfolded, the city of Boston and our nation was coming together. Rival Major League Baseball teams, the Boston Red Sox and the Kansas City Royals, honored the town and team by embracing tradition near and dear to the fans of Fenway Park.
The Red Sox returned to Fenway on Saturday in a celebration that is worthy of the great city of Boston and the game of baseball.
The announcement also has been made that the 2014 Boston Marathon will be held as scheduled.
I’ve never run the 26.2 miles of a marathon nor have I ever been to Boston. And it has been 38 years since I ran the 2-mile in high school, but in the last week I’ve felt united with the men and women of the city and the race in the spirit of America.
Last week also was another reminder of who the real heroes in the nation are. Too often we elevate an athlete to hero status because they can run, jump, throw or hit better than the average person. The fact is the law enforcement officers, fire fighters and volunteer medical personnel rushing to the explosions thinking of others rather than themselves are the real heroes.
Sadly, the world of 2013 is much more dangerous than the world I knew 40 years ago as a boy of 14 about to turn 15.
But it is comforting to know the American spirit is alive and well. If you don’t believe me, just ask the people of Boston.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.