"There ain't no doubt, I love this land. God bless the USA."*
Returning home from an early morning errand I saw the American flag in front of the Boy Scout office at half mast. It made me angry.
I understand why it flew that way, and that made me angry, too. Angry at the pointless, pitiless carnage in Boston. Angry at the lives taken, or forever altered. Angry at the pictures - the man with no feet, shin bones protruding from shredded calves, the tumbling runner.... Blood and clothing and carnage. Death within the lethal radius of an explosive device is as hideous and indiscriminate as any rendered by a madman with a rifle. I mourn the victims, pray for their families and then expect justice. That wasn't all.
Yesterday, I was intensely proud to be an American. Proud of Boston's Finest and Boston's Bravest, the first responders who ran headlong toward the victims, knowing that secondary devices are common and are meant for them. Proud of the emergency medical people whose gifts - skill, cool-headedness and precision - saved dozens, maybe a hundred or more lives. I was proud of the emergency room physicians, nurses and technicians who accepted the wounded and gave them world-class care. I could only feel humbled to hear of the runners who completed their marathon only to trot to the nearest blood bank to donate life. Spectators pitched in, surrounded by sights they could only imagine in their worst nightmares. The soldier in uniform, his day done, running back to the finish line to help. Proud of our President, who set the right tone - come together, keep the murdered and wounded in your hearts and, oh by the way to those who did this - run and hide, assholes. We're coming for you.
We mourn, and that is appropriate. Then, run Old Glory to the top for the whole world to see. Whoever you are, you got some of us. You accomplished nothing of value, even to your cause. To bring this country to its knees, you're going to have to get us all.
UPDATE: Boston carried the standard of freedom in the 1770s and they continue to carry it today. Listen - this is the sound of a free people telling the world we are not afraid.
Star Spangled Banner, Boston-style.
*God Bless the USA, Lee Greenwood, 1984.