Thursday, July 4, 2013

Appreciation

I was only 5 when 9/11 happened. I don't remember what flying was like before then because I was so young. I grew up listening to people talk about TSA and how annoying it was. Talking about how it was a pain in the butt. And I know there are problems with it that could be fixed, but I grew up accustomed to the fact that TSA was just annoying.

I may have only been 5 for 9/11, but I was 17 for the Boston bombings. For some reason, it intrigued me how quickly our country and the people of Boston responded to such an act of terror. Even when there were people running away, scared out of their minds, there were people running towards it to help. And when I wrote about the other day how it was weird to see the exact spot, it was even weirder to see the repercussions.

My family and I thought we only had a mile to walk to get to where we wanted to go for the Boston Pops rehearsal concert7, but it probably turned into a two mile walk. Hungry, tired, hot, and cranky, all we did was complain. We finally got to the spot and complained about how long the bag check line was. About how annoying it was to have to check the bags and about how annoying it was to throw away our water bottles.

Then I saw the face of someone checking my bag. He had probably checked over a hundred bags and had hundreds more to check. That doesn't even account for the other bag check lines. This guy checked my bag (and my mom's and my sister's) with a smile on his face and a thorough attitude. They checked every zipper and pocket and scanned our bodies and made us carry stuff in plastic bags and made us put wristbands on everything (literally everything). It would've been easy to just skim it and move on, but the attitude and positive spirit to volunteer to do this really made an impact.

As I looked around from that line, I saw men in military uniforms, hundreds of security people, the Boston police, the Massachusetts state police, the FBI driving around, and helicopters flying above.

I was protected.

And in that instant and for the rest of the night, the people who serve to protect us meant the world to me. Where other place in the world are you going to feel that sort of security?

It wasn't certain people that were working for the concert, it was every single person that had attributed to the safety of me, someone they didn't know at all.

When something as traumatic as the Boston marathon incident occurs, there are always going to be people that want to help and protect the lives of innocent people.

Which means that there's always going to be something annoying that comes as a result of this protection. I don't want to get into politics, but always having gratitude can get you a long way. It may be annoying, but when you get down to it, the intent is to protect, and as long as you have gratitude for the annoying things, our country will proudly stand.

In fact, as I'm writing this, the people around me are singing God Bless America and I have goosebumps. This city may be Boston Strong, but this country is one hundred times over America Strong and I'll be eternally grateful for that.

So take a minute to really appreciate the protection we're given. Happy Fourth of July, y'all.

xoxo,
Meredith

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