by Micah Wilkins, Editor-in-Chief
I travelled home this past weekend for my mother’s birthday celebration. It was her “sweet sixty” birthday weekend, as I called it, but what dominated our conversations, and sometimes marred the celebrations, was Boston.
I come home and am faced with a television for the first time in months. The television was on CNN almost all day on Saturday, and we watched the events unfold.
While we were mingling with family friends the news was on in the background. We couldn’t go a couple minutes into a conversation without asking “Any developments?” or “Did they catch him yet?”
We watched the same five clips of footage of the neighborhood outside of Boston, where the families were on lockdown and where “Bomber 2” was still on the loose.
Throughout the course of the day, things unfolded quickly. But as I sat, helplessly glued to the TV, things seemed to happen at a slug’s pace. It was like watching a car accident that was happening in slow motion that you couldn’t take your eyes away from. The closer the police officers came to finding this young man, the more scared I was for him. He is two years younger than I am. His brother had just died. He was wounded and surrounded by a thousand cops, and was eventually cornered, trapped in a small boat in a driveway in a suburb of Boston.
He was one of the perpetrators of a malicious, unforgivable act. He is responsible for the deaths of at least four people, the injuries of almost 200 and the heartache of countless others. Even after he is put on trial, I don’t expect to understand the reasoning behind what he did.
After he was finally captured and taken into custody, applause from the people of Waterstown, Mass. soon followed. And it continued, into the night, on the streets and into the bars. The bystanders of the proceedings clapped and thanked the police vehicles as they exited the town. Cameras captured dozens of people chanting “U.S.A! U.S.A!” as if their favorite sports team had just won the championship.
After his capture, news commentators kept repeating “they’ve got him, this is the end.”
But this is far from the end. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has to go on trial, and could face either life imprisonment or, more likely, the death penalty. The families and friends of those lost last week will have to continue their lives without their daughter, son, father, sister, husband. Those injured in the bombings have to continue on their long journey toward recovery.
But this is just one of many. In just the last year we have witnessed the Aurora shootings, the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, and now Boston. At this rate, we are likely to experience something else like this in our near future.
So no, this is not the end, and no, just because we have arrested one person does not mean we have resolved the issue. This is not the time nor the place for chants or applause, but a time of regret and remorse for those lost.
This is no cause for celebration.