TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
It was a typical afternoon for most Americans Monday.
People were working. Buying groceries. Getting gas.
And in the middle of the afternoon, the information highway started buzzing and booming.
Something happened at the Boston Marathon.
My first text came from my sister, who works at a newspaper near the coast. I shared the text with staff here — and then The Times-Tribune newsroom quickly sprung into action, seeking information on what happened at the Marathon.
The images were horrific.
The reports were wild.
Many of us saw it — scenes of exuberant people crossing the finish line quickly turned into a scene of mass chaos and hysteria.
Two explosions rocked the Boston Marathon.
Three were killed.
Several of those wounded lost limbs in the blasts.
And millions across the country took time to watch and learn about the bombings.
We listened to report after report, update after update, trying to get the latest from Boston.
And when we got up Tuesday morning, we quickly learned life went on.
But where do we go from here?
With modern technology, we are constantly battered with violence from all directions.
When I use social media, BOOM, there is story after story hitting me with violence.
I have one “friend” on one social media site who constantly posts stories about crimes occurring in the region where she lives.
It’s constant — a robbery here, a beating there, a drive-by shooting downtown — and can be very depressing.
But that isn’t the only place we get inundated with violence.
And my worry is that we see so much violence — so much — that we, as a society, are becoming accustomed to experiencing this behavior.
In fact, I think we’ve become numb to much of it.
I’ve been a victim of crime. I’ve been robbed. I’ve been burglarized. I’ve been attacked during a road rage incident.
I’m sure many of you reading this can relate your own crime-victim stories.
But where do we go as a nation, as a society?
Someone I know, who had planned to run in the marathon but for health reasons had to cancel, said it won’t deter her from getting out and running once she recovers.
In fact, she said it’s made her more determined than ever to get back on the track.
“I want to run for the memory of those people — the ones who died, and the ones who lived,” she wrote. “We can’t start hiding from life — things can happen at any time.”
That’s certainly true. Anyone in the news business, whether newspaper, radio or television, will tell you news changes in an instant.
A meeting can turn into a verbal melee, a drive to the store can end in tragedy. Does that mean we quit having meetings? Or stop going to the store?
Of course not — otherwise I would have quit driving about three years ago when I got socked in the face.
Maybe my running friend is right. Maybe that’s what we need to do as a society.
While we will not forget Monday’s horrific, tragic and cowardly events, we will do the one thing Americans seem to do best.
We stand tall and proud at the forefront, laughing in the face of our enemies, enjoying the life given us.
It’s my goal.
Reporter John Ross can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.