On Sunday, the day before the Boston Marathon, she went shopping with some friends and walked through the same area where the bombs went off.
About 9 a.m. Monday morning she called to ask me a question and mentioned that the banks were closed, that she couldn’t get any money for lunch. I’m self-employed so I often work weekends to make up for times I do other things and I was on my way to a fundraiser for my youngest daughter’s robotics team (one of the parents found out about monthly events that require assistance on two monday mornings a month and this was our second opportunity).
In the early afternoon, as we drove to one of the pick-up stops, one of the other parents informed everyone of the bombings. A few minutes later, my phone rang. It was my daughter. When I tried to answer there was nothing on the other end. I tried calling back and it didn’t go through, so I waited about five minutes and tried again. Nothing.
Another parent saw me making calls and offered to send her a text, since I don’t have that option on my phone. After about five more minutes we got a text that she was okay.
A couple of hours later when she was finally able to get a call out, she told me she’d thought about going to the Marathon, but then decided along with a friend, that they should be doing their homework. I would not have been surprised to find out she’d gone, given they had “extra time” over the long weekend. She did take time for a coffee break a little later at a location a couple of miles away so she heard and even felt the blast. Today, everyone is on high alert—sirens are going off continually and police are everywhere—and she has to try to continue to focus on her studies through all of it.
Last week I watched the The Bombing of al-Bara, a PBS documentary by Olly Lambert on a couple of bombings that he witnessed in Syria.
I watched those 30-minutes of horror as he approached crumbled buildings where people were injured, trapped and buried alive. The people there have no heavy equipment to rescue their loved ones. No police, no firefighters came to assist.
Injured children were carried away, bloodied. We weren’t given any information about their injuries. A young man was pulled out from beneath a pile of rubble. Another bombing jet flew over as they struggled to rescue people. All of the equipment that was shown was one pick-ax and one shovel. One young man I won’t soon forget cried and cried that his grandparents were buried underneath rubble. His dead uncle was taken away in a vehicle as he looked on. Another young boy held up the two-fingered symbol for peace with both hands. A woman walked by crying that her entire family is gone.
At the Boston Marathon, those who were injured had the best help possible.
When people in the U.S. are victims of random acts of violence, our government employees—police and firefighters—are often able to quickly arrive on the scene with the most modern tools and resources to help. Yesterday was no exception. Brave, trained professionals were at the event and able to offer immediate help.
We also have highly skilled, world-class care at our hospitals, including doctors and nurses who will work selflessly at a frenzied pace to do everything they can to make injured people as comfortable and as whole as possible. We have insurance programs that will help them continue to manage their lives and additional services that will help support them, if needed.
This is not communism. This is not socialism. This is American.
We are so fortunate to have these services when the inevitable tragedies of life occur. Many of them are paid for by our taxes.
All I can say right now is shame on those people who don’t pay taxes because they hide their money off-shore or do not want to pay their fair share.
I am a single parent with one daughter in college. No one is going to convince me that a straight-A student, who has just been accepted into a Leadership program, doesn’t belong in college. I am skilled and earned a reasonable income for the first time last year in over eight years, but it is still less than $50,000. I have gone without healthcare for over eight years and finally got to a dentist last fall, which meant extensive work. I am the only person contributing to her college expenses and I will also be paying over $6,000 of the money I earned last year in taxes. I continue to live with next to nothing and take each day as it comes trying to do what’s best for my kids.
I simply can’t understand how anyone can support a tax system that allows companies like Bank of America, Exxon/Mobil, FedEd, Microsoft, Pfizer and Verizon to pay lower taxes than I do and, in some cases, we’re told it’s none.
I’m hoping and praying that the new tax system, or however we’re supposed to refer to it, that will be Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act), takes these kinds of things into consideration when they determine what I have to pay for healthcare this coming year, because we all know that the wealthy people will have really good healthcare when/if the time comes and there are a lot of us right now who simply can’t afford to pay for anything else.
I am thankful we live in a country where we have these services, but I believe we need a better system for paying taxes to maintain it. I hope people recognize, especially at times like this, what paying taxes means to everyone in the U.S., even the rich, who might be a victim of a tragedy like this or Columbine or Katrina or Sandy or Colorado or Newtown….
Shouldn’t everyone have to pay some taxes in this country to fund these services?