Standing side by side with Boston

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It is hard to draw many comparisons between the little communities that comprise Western Tidewater and the sprawling, densely populated metropolitan area of Boston, Massachusetts. Their traffic is notoriously bad; ours can be slightly annoying when you get stuck behind a sprayer on a two-lane road. They have terrible winters that can produce a total of several feet of snow per year; we’ve had a total of several feet of snow in the last hundred years. We think that they have funny accents and are difficult to understand; they think we have funny accents and don’t understand what we’re saying when we say they have funny accents. They have the Red Sox and the Patriots and the Celtics; we have, well, have we mentioned they have terrible traffic?

In fact, there are very few commonalities as a community that we share with the good people of Boston, but this is one we do; we are people, bound together by the human condition. We are mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and friends and aunts and uncles and cousins, who love and mourn and feel loss and pain and joy and grief and fear and all the things that the people of Boston and others around the world are experiencing this week as a result of the nightmare that unfolded on Monday.

The sights and sounds that we have been exposed to on our televisions and computer screens in the last couple of days have been difficult for many of us to see and hear, albeit much less so though than for the ones who were there. We pray for the people of Boston, for the families of victims and the victims themselves, and those who have experienced loss or pain or whom have seen their community shattered.

On the surface, it may seem that we in Western Tidewater have little in common with the people of Boston, yet our shared experiences as people probably give us more in common than we may ever realize. Today, with heads bowed, we stand side by side with them in their hour of need.