The stories of the survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings are coming out, giving us hope and letting us meet some amazing people.
There is Heather Abbott who was waiting to get into a bar after having gone to a Red Sox game with her friends. There is the mother and daughter, Celeste and Sydney Corcoran, who were at the race that day to cheer on Celeste’s sister. There is college student Victoria McGrath who was told a white lie to get her through the immediate moments after the bombings.
I have read and learned of these stories not through watching the evening news, but seeing them online. I have chosen to digest the news on my terms, to choose the stories I want to see, and only when I feel up to it.
I have clicked on headlines like, “Victims Look Ahead,” and “Survivor to Rescuers: ‘You Saved My Life'” and “Boylston Street Open After Bombing” hoping to see new images of hope and survival.
Instead, within seconds of watching, the images of the bombings are edited into the piece. Each time I have had to stop watching.
No matter what the story is — whether it’s the inspirational story of a woman who decided to have her foot amputated, or the touching story of a man rushing to save the life of a young college student — every one of these stories has used these images.
It doesn’t matter which network or cable station – they are all still using these images, nearly two weeks after the bombings.
What is to be gained by using these images now? Of watching when the bombs went off? Of seeing the moment when people were killed or maimed? What is the purpose?
We know what it looks like. We know what it sounds like. We don’t need to be reminded of it every time we want to be inspired and try to get back to “normal,” whatever that is now.
Imagine how these families and friends of those killed or injured feel every time these stories air. They think, “It’s nice to see how ___ is doing, and what an inspiration s/he is.” And then… that image.
Why is this different from 9/11? Why could it be decided then not to repeatedly show the plane crashing into the second tower, but now it’s okay to show a bomb blowing up and killing innocent people? Because there were three people killed, not 3,000? Because it’s Boston, not New York?
Why? Please, stop using those images of the bombs exploding. We’ve had enough.