I hope that you, your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and loved ones are healthy and safe. Like me, I’m sure you found yourself racing through a list of people in your life at various times last week – a week filled with great tragedy, emotion and fear that also demonstrated our tremendous community strength and resilience.
It is important that we remember the despicable attack of Monday, April 15th, Patriot’s Day, at the Boston Marathon that killed Massachusetts residents Krystie Campbell, Lingzi Lu and Martin Richard, and injured over 180 people, and the continued inhumane actions of two psychopathic individuals that led to the murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier, and the serious injury of another first responder, all in just five days.
Since the capture of the remaining suspect last Friday, we’ve all been able to restore our focus to supporting the Marathon bombing victims. Thousands of people across Massachusetts, and the country have already reached out to help, and I know that we will continue to. A fund has been created, onefundboston.org, to provide financial support to these victims.
Closer to home in the district that I represent, two local residents were injured in the Boston Marathon bombings. Brittany Loring, a young woman who grew up in Ayer, was seriously injured last Monday, and a fund has been set up to pay for her medical bills, which I hope you’ll consider giving to. You can read more about Brittany in this Nashoba Publishing story from last week. And seven year-old James Gauntlett of Shirley, suffered injuries from one of the detonated bombs, needs your help, too. You can read about his story here, and donations can be sent to: Recovery Fund for Gauntlett Family, Sovereign Bank, One Park Street, Ayer, MA 01432. Please give.
As a State Senator, I want to make a few observations about last week’s tragedy.
Just one week ago, we saw how the people of Massachusetts respond to a horrific attack. Within seconds after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, police officers, firefighters. EMS personnel, Marathon staff and volunteers, ordinary citizens, immigrants and medical staff responded to the hundreds of victims, in many cases saving lives by the quick and organized response to meet their immediate health needs. This response speaks not only to the courage and strength of Massachusetts residents, but also the strong foundation of public safety personnel, healthcare infrastructure, and emergency training that exists in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That is something that I’m very proud of.
Finally, we saw last week in the immediate aftermath of Marathon bombing and the pursuit and capture of the bombing suspects by federal, state and local law enforcement displays of great courage and perseverance – by victims, public servants, medical staff, and everyday residents. In each case of bravery, people stepped forward and showed a willingness to put themselves in possible harm, for the greater good – to save a life, to protect a community, to stop the fear that had spread across Massachusetts.
If Massachusetts residents were able to commit these acts of selflessness, at great personal risk, it gives me hope that other public servants, including elected officials, can do the same, to make our state and country a better place to live for everyone. Because if we as politicians are not willing to show the same kind of courage, facing far less severe risks, when considering the decisions that have a impact on the people of Massachusetts, then are we holding ourselves to the same standard as the brave men and women who protected us last week?
Once again, I hope that you and your friends, family, and loved ones are safe and secure, and I look forward to working with you in the coming months on tackling many of the important challenges that we have before us, together.