“No More Hurting People. Peace.”
By: Patrick Maguire
Book Chapter: Human-to-Human Service
Leave it to an 8-year-old to simplify what most of the world longs for.
President Obama followed a contingent of speakers, representing multiple religious faiths, who gave the sermons of their lives today. In his speech, Mr. Obama included the message, “No More Hurting. Peace”, written on a piece of construction paper, with drawings of two hearts, by Eight-year-old, Martin Richard, from Dorchester, MA, who died as a result of the bombing attacks on Marathon Monday.
We all have iconic memories of where we were during life-changing events. My memory of the afternoon of 2/15/13 will be of sitting at the counter of Brazilian-owned, Theo’s Cozy Corner in the North End of Boston, reading my paper, listening to the inane banter of the daily gathering of old-timer, Italian men screaming at each other. Above the raucous din, I heard one of the veterans shouting about an explosion, while pointing to the Boston Marathon on TV. After the volume was turned up, we all witnessed the horrific events unfold.
After leaving Theo’s, I spent the next couple of hours glued to the TV with my co-workers in Downtown Boston, until I couldn’t take seeing the same videos and images over and over. I was disgusted, frightened, angry, and sick to my stomach. On Tuesday, I walked from the North End to the South End, witnessed the military camp on Boston Common, the throngs of reporters near the Public Garden and on Dartmouth street, and the beefed-up security everywhere. The city was reeling — somber, mournful, and eerily quiet. Without any arrests, there were more questions than answers, and we were drifting.
Today marked a turning point in the healing process for our city. President Obama visited Boston and attended an interfaith healing service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. After listening to the uplifting speeches today, hope is finally beginning to replace horror. I was so moved by the speeches given today, that I am on a mission to get the transcript and video of each one, post them here, and share my favorite excerpts from each. I’d also like to find a link with a video of the entire service. Every American should watch a video of the healing service in its entirety.
Please email me at email@example.com with any additional links that you are aware of. This will be a fluid post, with ongoing updates. I’m grateful for your help.
For the full transcript of each speech, please click on the list of names below.
In my faith tradition, scripture teaches: “In every thing give thanks.” (I Thessalonians 5:18) That isn’t always easy to do. On Monday afternoon, I wasn’t feeling it. What I felt, what so many of us felt then, was shock and confusion and anger…
I’m thankful for the firefighters and police officers and EMTs who ran towards the blasts, not knowing whether the attack was over – and the volunteers and other civilians who ran to help right along side them…
I’m thankful for Mayor Menino, who started Monday morning frustrated he couldn’t be at the finish line this time, as he always is, and then late that afternoon checked himself out of the hospital to help his city, our city, face down this tragedy…
I’m thankful for the lives of Krystle and Lingzi and little Martin, and for the lives of the families who survive them, and for the lives of all the people hurt but who still woke up today with the hope of tomorrow…
And I am thankful, maybe most especially, for the countless numbers of people in this proud City and this storied Commonwealth who, in the aftermath of such senseless violence, let their first instinct be kindness. In a dark hour, so many of you showed so many of us that “darkness cannot drive out darkness,” as Dr. (Martin Luther) King said. “Only light can do that.”…
Massachusetts invented America. And America is not organized the way countries are usually organized. We are not organized around a common language or religion or even culture. We are organized around a handful of civic ideals. And we have defined those ideals, through time and through struggle, as equality, opportunity, freedom and fair play…
An attack on a civic ritual like the Marathon, especially on Patriots’ Day, is an attack on those values. And just as we cannot permit darkness and hate to triumph over our spiritual faith, so we must not permit darkness and hate to triumph over our civic faith. That cannot happen. And it will not.
(Excerpts to follow.)
Lastly, the section below is dedicated to all of the genuine, meaningful and thoughtful gestures and events across America and the world, in support of Boston. Again, please email any submissions you’d like to recommend. Thank you.
National Anthem Boston Garden
Rene Rancourt has been singing the National Anthem for the Boston Bruins for 37 years. On Wednesday night, the first Boston sporting event since the attack, Mr. Rancourt was happy to step aside and play director as the choir of Boston Garden fans performed the ritual for him. If these videos don’t move you, you have no soul.