What we all have experienced in that week is now history, that is what time does, and yet, most of us are still experiencing what has happened and will experience it for some time to come.
The span of what occurred as to geography, the nature of the events and how we have lived those moments, mostly indirectly, by the media, can take some of us back to another time and another set of living in the moment as events occurred. And like last week, most of those events were on television and in the media of the day. The one I am thinking of in November, in the week that would have been experienced as a day of thanksgiving, family and football but wasn't, it was a weekend of lost and shock to most of us that saw and felt what happened. But it isn't the only one I am reminded of there have been more, King, Robert Kennedy, the Urban riots, Wallace, the Sterling Hall, Kent State, Munich, Three Rivers, Chernobyl, the Reagan shooting, Atlanta Olympics and 9/11 all striking an impact.
This week we have experienced it again, an impact and more than one.
Sunday started with the news programs of talking heads and pundits discussing what next in North Korea, what threats,bombs or missiles, as Monday approached and the 101th birthday of Kim Il-sung, the founder of the Kim dynasty and the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea was to be celebrated by his newly invested grandson.
On Monday, of course, it was the usual national day of apprehension, the tax filing dead line date. It was also Patriots' Day in Massachusetts. A public holiday celebrating the beginning of the American Revolution with traditions, a tradition that includes the Boston Marathon, an event that has happened 117 times on the streets of Boston. Usually the Marathon is a big event only in the state and the sporting world but otherwise not a national story, that changed. As the race was ending, hours after the race leaders had finished, the remaining competitors were coming in at the finish line mostly as personal challenge to be greeted by family, friends and race volunteers and officials Some of those racers never finished, as two bombs exploded in the crowd. The scene was immediately turned into confusion, panic and response as the injured were discovered and attended to while action was taken to secure the scene.
No one knew much at the moment, other then, there was death, injury as police, officials onlookers, emergency personal reacted with rescue and situation control. Then the moment became an event, as the nation became aware of what was happening in the streets of Boston. Soon, there were further concerns as to could there be other bombings while the national security response became involved. Much was unknown, but much could be speculated on as to the cause and those that did it.
This week was also the week of another bombing on April 19th, 1995, in Oklahoma City, that killed 168 people, which set off as retaliation to another event of the week, the Branch Davidian fire near Waco, Texas, on April 19th, 1993, where 76 died.
However, there was another explosion,on Wednesday evening, in West, Texas. A small town interestingly enough not far from Waco, Texas, where a fertilizer plant blew up with an explosion of anhydrous ammonia a usually benign substance, that can under the proper circumstances be an explosive of enormous power, caused the destruction and damage to homes and businesses within miles of the explosion. As result of the explosion and additional fires, 14 were killed, mostly first responders and some that lived near the plant. As the event happened, much again was unknown as it was coming on the heals of the events in Boston.
As these events occurred, in the U.S. Senate, the highly followed debate on gun control legislation came to an end as senators voted not to sustain any meaningful restrictions as to background checks. Even though there had been such a public and political demand for restrictions, the legislation could not pass. Additionally, on Tuesday, the "Gang of Eight", the eight bi-partisan senators revealed their proposed changes in immigration and a path to citizenship which now was going to be scrutinized as to how to deal with terrorism.
As there events were unfolding, the U.S. financial markets were in turmoil as the Dow-Jones Industrial slipped significantly from previous highs, but gold prices dropped even more, and oil became nothing to own as it dropped too as did many other industrial commodities based on anticipation of slow growth, no growth in world economies including the United States.
On Wednesday, the United Kingdom buried its first and only female prime minister with ceremony along with heighten security as concerns for what happened in Boston and in the past in Britain with the IRA and other terrorists.
There were odds words too that were a part of this week, ricin was one of them. Ricin is an extract from a bean, the castor bean and it is a poison, a deadly poison. As was the case in 9/11 it also had an odd word, anthrax. Anthrax is a deadly bacteria. Anthrax was used in packages and envelopes delivered to public figures just after the attack on 9/11. Ricin was discovered in envelopes sent to the president and other political figures in Washington and in Mississippi. As to what was the motive and reason, unknown.
Then there were significant earthquakes in Iran, China and Mexico, all with deaths and property destruction.
Thursday there was a moving memorial service at Cathedral of The Holy Cross in Boston where the mayor, governor and president gave moving speeches to the victims and the people of Boston as to what they had suffered and experienced since Monday afternoon.
Finally, beginning on Thursday evening, after the ongoing investigation into the Boston bombing had reached the identification of possible suspects and the release of images of those suspects. Then seemingly unrelated, a shooting of a security officer occurred near the MIT campus which set off a movie style chase that ended with the killing of one suspect and the arrest of another. And ending with spontaneous applause and signs of appreciation from the people of Boston for the work of the police, fire and other security agents and agency on the streets.
On Saturday, at venerable Fenway Park, a symbol of what to many is Boston, a celebration and commemoration to all those involved was held as the city and people could start to heal with get closure with what had happened to them and to their nation.
And on this week I received notice of the birth of my first grandchild, Gwendolyn Gail.
A week that was, indeed.