More than just a game, a nation united

Luke Warnken, Washburn Review

For the second time in my life I saw something that stunned me; a terrorist attack that left Americans in disarray and baffled. 

To this day I cannot forget everything that happened on that fateful day in September of 2001. Now there is a new day that will forever be engraved in my memory, the day small explosives sent shrapnel fleeing like rockets into spectators while the blasts knocked runners off their feet. 

The Boston Marathon bombings have been the topic for the past week rightfully so and most people are ready to move on, but it is still hard to fathom. 

Since their inception sports have always been a chance to get away, a chance for people to be entertained. The Greeks used the Olympics to celebrate their religion and show off their masculinity. The Romans captivated spectators by pitting gladiators against each other, or even against lions. The idea was to show off the wonders of the human body and to provide entertainment to  the populus. Although the sports have changed the basic principles still remain. 

On April 15, two bombs exploded at the finish line of one of the world’s premiere events, the Boston Marathon. Attacks like these at a sporting event are not unfamiliar. Eleven members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and eventually murdered during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. But most of today’s generation is too young to recall that incident or weren’t even born yet. 

What makes the Boston Marathon so surreal was that it took place in our backyard. Nothing sends a wake up call better then having loved ones brutually killed or have their limbs torn off. Yet, during thar frightening time people came to gether, just like they did almost 12 years ago. 

Runners and spectators not hurt by the explosion rushed to the injured, providing whatever medical care they could. There was no political argument over what to do. Nobody focused on their sexual orientation nor was gun control the problem at hand. All those issues were put on the backburner. For the time being all that mattered was trying to save those who were savagely attacked. America was once again united with two causes at hand: save their fellow citizens and find those responsible for. 

Sporting events were suspended in the Boston area as people tried to find the culprits. The whole city of Boston closed down until this past weekend, when America was able to  find some closure with the capture of both of the suspects. With them no longer on the streets, sports were allowed to continue. 

Teams all across the nation showed their suport with banners, stickers or patches commerating those tragically injured or killed. The New York Yankees even played the famous “Sweet Caroline,” the song traditionally played by their arch rivals the Boston Red Sox. The singer of “Sweet Caroline,” Neil Diamond, even visited Boston to perform his song during one of their games. The whole city of Boston flocked to Fenway Park to see their beloved Red Sox when things seemed like they couldn’t get any worse. The American flag became even more prevalent in stadiums and gyms everywhere. 

Sports once again became an outlet for those devestated by the attack, even though it happened during a sporting event. 

Life will continue to move on. Americans will continue to disagree over politics and the Boston Marathon will be just another event in history. But for at least a week Americans came together, putting their differences aside. For the second time in my life I got to witness how sports can bring people together across the nation, giving them something to cherish. 

The American way of life is similar to running a marathon. There will be pain. There will be times a sense of never seeing success. There will be times we want to quit. But we always find a way to cross the finish line.