the Wake of Tragedy, Boston Strong
suppose we're all looking for the "take-away" from the Boston
What observations, lessons, thoughts, ideas, etc. do we take away from the
tense tragic event and the aftermath of the twin-bombings near the
finish-line? The bombs killed three spectators, including an 8-year-old
boy, and days later led to the "assassination" of a rookie MIT
security police officer, sitting in his car, during the mayhem that
followed the bombings.
a week or so later, I come away with two major observations. First is the
awe-inspiring cooperation among local, state and federal law enforcement
that resulted in the death of one suspect and the capture of the other. My
second observation is the significant role the public, the media, social
media and high-tech capabilities played in law enforcement's ultimate
identification of the suspects and their final apprehension.
bombings, manhunt and apprehension of the suspects left us riveted to our
seats as we watched events unfold in real time right before our eyes.
Here, in Fairfield County, last Friday our eyes turned focused on the sky
as helicopters hovered above the railroad tracks when law enforcement,
following what turned out to be a false lead, stopped and searched an Amtrak
train in Norwalk bound for Washington D.C., looking for 19-year-old Dzhokhar
the younger of the two brothers. He had alluded police following the
shootout and subsequent death of his brother Tamerlan. Another Metro-North
train was searched in Darien.
we had come to learn following a lead from an observant Watertown, Mass.,
resident, Dzhokhar was discovered bleeding from a gunshot wound to the
throat, holed up inside a small runabout boat covered with a tarp that was
on a hitch in a driveway. Reportedly the resident -- who was among others
in the 20-square-block area that had been told to stay indoors during the
manhunt -- went outside to have a cigarette and saw a trail of blood
leading to the boat. He called 911. Law enforcement flew a
specially-equipped airplane with X-ray capabilities to transmit a picture
right through the tarp revealing the suspect inside the boat. Then, police
responded with assistance from a mechanical arm protruding from something
that looked like a tank that lifted up the tarp.
is the one word that keeps coming to mind as I watched and followed the
events as they kept unfolding. Some of the events that occurred during the
hunt for these two suspects were just too unbelievable. For example, the
brothers had hijacked a car, drove the driver around for about 30 minutes
during which time they announced to him that they were the bombers. Then,
they released the driver on the road. It was reported that the driver had
left his cell phone in the car and police were able to keep track of the
car through the cell phone.
the shootout between the two brothers and police, the elder brother,
Tamerlan, finally was stopped by police bullets and fell to the ground.
His brother reportedly jumped from the passenger seat into the driver's
seat, put the car in reverse to escape police and in doing so ran over his
brother who was declared dead when he was transported to the hospital.
watching for many hours a day, these often bizarre and very scary events,
I sought relief. I went to the Garden Cinema and saw "The
Sapphires," starring Chris
If anyone can take your mind off such senseless human tragedy it is this
Irish comedian/actor O'Dowd, who many of you may recall from his role as
the police officer in the movie "Bridesmaids."
plays a talent manager in "The Sapphires." Based on a true
story, he meets a quartet of Aboriginal young girls from Australia whom he
takes to Vietnam to perform for the American troops during the war. Amid
the crossfire of war and racial prejudice, not only in their homeland of
Australia but on the frontline in Southeast Asia, the girls channel the
"Supremes," as they perform songs from the a '60s hitlist.
"The Sapphires" is a very entertaining movie that puts a smile
on your face, it also introduces us to the great racial divide in
Australia that had been hidden from many of us all those years ago. My
having just watched and listened to the prolonged bursts of gunfire
between police and the Boston bombing suspects, it became a little eerie
to watch the war scenes that formed the backdrop for the stage where the
Sapphires showcased their singing talents.
the son of one of the Sapphires, is co-screenwriter. In a recent interview
he said that the movie "captures a world and experience largely
unknown to the audience, one filled with beauty and song."
contemplate that statement this week as I reflect upon the tragedy that
took place in Boston. We are still trying to understand why two immigrant
brothers who spent much of their lives growing up and receiving their
education in the United States, would be responsible for the deaths and
maiming of innocent people. The reason is still unknown.
in the aftermath of such destruction indeed comes "beauty and
song" within a city still reeling, at memorial services and ball
games, where heroes that emerged from the tragedy have been celebrated.
Boston and its residents are resolved to rise again, Boston strong.
was an off moment of levity at the end of the ordeal. Once the second
suspect was captured and the Watertown neighborhood could come out of
their houses without any worry, residents stood along the street cheering
the scores of police cars and FBI vehicles retreating from the
neighborhood. They cheered, whistled and hooted out praises. One law
enforcement officer behind a wheel of a vehicle driving by responded to
the crowd by shouting out through his public adddress system, "It's
been our pleasure."
Papazian is a freelance writer who has covered Norwalk extensively.
© Copyright 2013 Rita Papazian All rights reserved.