This beautiful little nine year old boy is Martin Richards. He and his family were very excited to greet his Dad as he crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon. The blast took Martin's life, claimed the leg of his six year old sister Jane and caused a head injury to his Mom, who underwent brain surgery.
I am just coming out of my initial shock of being so close to the bombings with my son, nephew and best friend and I am feeling very mortal.
There is nothing we can do to stop these evil people who justify harming innocent people as a statement or solution to their grievances or cause. If their intentions are to wreak havoc - no amount of surveillance, security or precautions will stop them.
What we can do is understand that the world has changed. Liberties and freedoms that we have the right to, may still be in place - but the sense of security we have grown up with is no longer applicable.
Hold your children, teach your children, protect them, supervise them, love them. We no longer can take for granted the idea that they will be safe no matter where they go.
This country is great, Boston is an amazing city, my fellow Bostonians are kind, resilient and brave - but Martin is gone. The killing and/or capture of the despicable culprits did not bring him back or return his sister's limb. I will keep his picture as a reminder of my role as a parent - to protect our children, as a man - to love my fellow men and as a child of God - to believe that in the end, love, peace and understanding will prevail.