As a staff, The Bradford takes a moment to reflect on the events that shape our daily lives on a local, national, and international scale.
Jonathan Stepakoff ’14
In Massachusetts, we’ve made a habit of remembering. That’s why we’re one of three states that still celebrates Patriots’ Day on the third Monday of every April, to commemorate the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, 238 years after the skirmishes took place. These battles sparked the Revolutionary War, in which the colonists cast off the chains of tyrannical politics. Despite the political legacy that Patriots’ Day leaves, following the chaos in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing that occurred this past Patriots’ Day, as a nation, we need to take a break from politics.
Within twenty-four hours of the tragedy, Representative Steve King, a republican in Iowa’s fourth congressional district, used the bombings to argue the need to halt immigration reforms, and restrict the flow of legal immigrants to America. King does have a point; the Tsarnaev brothers, suspects in the bombing, came legally to America on visas before becoming permanent residents, and the younger brother, Dzhokhar, eventually became a citizen. Perhaps, if immigration laws had been stricter, these terror suspects would not have gained residence here. However, right or wrong, King failed to understand that in the aftermath of a national tragedy, the last thing people want is more controversy. Reasonable or not, it’s an argument that needed to be made later.
With the bombing just ten days behind us, much of the Boston community, as well as people from around the country and around the globe, have shown their support and have also contributed to the rebuilding effort. The One Fund has raised over $23 million and the “Boston Strong” campaign has reinvigorated thousands nationwide. King’s comments are not only untimely, but they also take up media coverage which could be directed towards glorifying the efforts to reunite a shaken city and display patriotism despite the tragedy on Patriots’ Day.
In Massachusetts, we’ve made a habit of remembering, but when we look back at this horrible incident, let’s not remember the Tsarnaev brothers, the manhunt, or the incessant debates about immigration or torture that politicians, like King, choose to pull of the incident. Let’s forget the agendas and leave room in our confused and mourning minds to remember what’s important: the men who ran towards the explosion to help, the runners who finished the race and sprinted to the hospital to donate blood, the victims, the way the country united to stand behind Boston. Let us never forget the men and women who stood Boston Strong.