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Reflections on Boston

April 19, 2013
FOCUS Editorial Director Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS, comments on the tragedy surrounding the bombings this week at the Boston Marathon and how you can be of assistance. In addition, she shares that the American Dental Hygienists’ Association has issued a Response to Bombings in Boston since the Center for Lifelong Learning at the 90th Annual Session will be held in June in the city.
Another horrendous, violent, tragic event has struck the USA. Condolences to the families, the runners, the spectators, and everyone touched by this act of terrorism. Struggling through the emotional turmoil, conjecturing about who devised this cowardly act, and why, keeps us wondering “what is next”? Our sense of safety continues to erode, making it even more important to be vigilant and aware of our surroundings. In spite of all our preventive efforts, none of us is immune to a potential senseless tragedy. So we need to be kind to one another, and live for the moment. There were some remarkable examples of bravery from Boston; we can all aspire to be as selfless and brave as those who helped in the wake of this catastrophe. The bombings in Boston have had a tremendous impact on the USA and on every American. As we did after the Newtown tragedy and 9/11, we need to show that we will once again stand together as Americans and support those in Boston, and those affected no matter where they may live.
The Boston Marathon is held each year on Patriots' Day. As it was the 117th edition of the race, Boston Athletic Association President Joanne Flamino said it was of special significance that Mile 26 was dedicated to signify 26 miles in the marathon, as well as the 26 people who lost their lives in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012. There was a 26-second moment of silence to pay tribute to the Sandy Hook victims, and a group of Newtown parents were among the nine community members taking part in the race. Old wounds were opened for those from Newtown, Connecticut, and NYC, those affected by 9/11 and other similar events.
How to HelpOne Fund Boston Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston's Mayor Tom Menino announced that the city has established One Fund Boston. Boston-based insurance company John Hancock has already committed $1 million to the fund, which will raise money for families most affected by the bombings. Donate today.(1)
The Red Cross The Red Cross has a Safe and Well website. The Red Cross also has valuable information about dealing with an emotional crisis. Donate to the Red Cross.(2) The Salvation Army organized canteen trucks to provide food. Officers have been dispatched to assist those in need. Donate to the Salvation Army.(3) Always be careful where you donate. The best way to donate is to go to a legitimate donation website. Use only licensed and regulated charities, and be skeptical of “cash-only” requests. An idea is to donate to one of the 35 charitable organizations that Boston Marathon runners had chosen as their own recipients, from the Boston Arts Academy to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society; think of it as donating in a runner’s honor.(4) Boston Children's Hospital has useful resources for guidance on how to talk to children after a tragedy. Follow on Twitter for updates.(5) There is a need for blood on a sustained basis, but especially after a disaster like the events in Boston. Check with local hospitals and organizations, like the Red Cross, in the near future to see where the need may be and where to donate. The Red Cross is not asking for blood donations at this time, but you can always schedule an appointment in the future to give blood. Social media like Twitter and Facebook are ways to connect with others.(6) If you are in the Boston area and are looking for organizations seeking volunteers, or if you simply want to stay apprised of events, follow Twitter.(7) The Boston Athletic Association also has a website.(8) A Call for Support has been raised: Please share this with your friends and family.“The Boston community is in need of signs of love and support, and that's what we are all about. Please consider sending a card or hand written letter showing you care. These letters will be reviewed to make sure they are appropriate and then forwarded to the Boston community to pass out to whomever wants them. Do not send any donations at this time; this page is not authorized to collect on their behalf. We only want to show support and love through words and kind acts.

26 Acts of Kindness
PO Box 185083
Hamden, CT 06518

Together we can stand up for one another and spread love, not hate.”

The sport of “marathon” actually started with bad fortune. The name Marathon comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger. The legend states that he was sent from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon (in which he had just fought), which took place in August or September, 490 B.C. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming "νενικηκαμεν’ (nenikekamen)", ("We wοn"), before collapsing and dying.(10)

And last, but not least, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) has issued a Response to Bombings in Boston, as the Center for Lifelong Learning at the 90th Annual Session will be held in Boston in June.(11) The ADHA will be communicating with the City of Boston, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and each hotel to share safety instructions and procedures as they become available.

“Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.” --Matt Cameron

Stay safe. Namaste.

5. @BostonChildrens.
7. hashtag #BostonHelp


Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS

To read previous RDH eVillage FOCUS introductions by Maria Perno Goldie, go to introductions.

To read more about responding to tragedies, click here.