The Boston Marathon bombing was a reminder of the best and worst parts of what it means to be an American. It was a reminder of the unity we saw after September 11th: Residents of Boston opened their homes to those who had been stranded, the Red Cross had to turn people away for blood donations because they simply had no more room in their facilities, and even sports rivalries between Boston and New York were put aside as the country waited for five days until the perpetrators got caught.
More disturbingly, the bombings were a reminder of the terror that occurs around the world on a daily basis.
A photo of Martin Richard , the 8 year old boy killed at the marathon, went viral shortly after the bombings. In the photo, Martin was holding a sign that said "No more hurting people. Peace."
The most heartbreaking thing about this photo is that this child knew at 8 years old what the "adults" who are supposed to keep us safe seem to have forgotten.
But how can anyone be heartbroken about the photo after electing George W. Bush and Barack Obama, who have caused injury and death to thousands of children with a targeted killing program? Although the program started under President Bush, President Obama has authorized nearly four times as many strikes as his predecessor, killing hundreds of civilians and fewer than 30 Al-Qaeda members. What makes the children in the United States any different than those in the Middle East or any other part of the world?
The answer? NOTHING. Neither Martin Richard nor any other child around the world deserves to die because the grown-ups can't play nicely with one another.
If you think George W. Bush was awful but that President Obama is great, you need to stop living in your fantasy world and get a clue. Obama is George W. Bush II, but with higher taxes for the rich and lower prescription co-pays. Does paying $5 less when you go to the doctor really make you feel better about another drone strike on innocent civilians in Pakistan?
Americans are fortunate to live in a country where terrorist attacks are shocking and rare. While we mourn those who lost their lives this past week, never forget that there are people around the world who experience this violence as a part of their daily lives.
As citizens of The United States of America, which is supposed to represent freedom and democracy, we should hold ourselves to a higher standard, not a double one. It’s a shame, America. I hope we can be better than that.