The only bright side to Monday’s tragedy: the efficiency of law enforcement

Patriot’s Day is supposed to be a day of celebration, of viewing or taking part in a historic running event and maybe catching an early Red Sox game. After the horrific attacks that occurred on Monday, it’s hard to do any celebrating, but citizens should feel proud of how their city responded.

Eyewitnesses interviewed from almost every news outlet on Monday commented on how quickly Boston Police, on-scene medical staff and volunteers responded after the bombs detonated. Any injury to come from an attack as cowardice and malicious as what happened Monday is too many but without the efforts of police and others, circumstances could have been much worse.

By the time news broke about the fire at the JFK Library, I had already heard from a friend of a friend that police and firefighters were on-scene dealing with the incident. When news broke about possible threats at Brigham and Women’s and Tufts Medical Hospital, SWAT and local authorities were almost immediately on scene.

Emerson College was shut down by 4 p.m., hospitals told media to let people know they had plenty of blood due to donors and volunteers just hours after the tragedy. After racing 26.2 miles, marathon runners sprinted to local hospitals to donate blood.

Almost everything the city could have done to keep its citizens calm, it did and did well. Cell phone towers were shutdown to prevent remote detonation, public transportation was shut down to prevent people being outside and Copley Square was locked down. All of these actions weren’t immediate, but they each happened in a timely manner that certainly helped calm and protect the city.

President Obama has had to make far too many speeches during his presidency in the wake of a tragedy, but he said it best when he told America that “Boston is a tough and resilient town. So are its people,” before assuring whoever did this will be brought to justice. He couldn’t have described New England’s most notable city any better.

I, like plenty reading this had friends or loved ones down at the finish line to enjoy what is always supposed to be a joyful day in Boston. I’m happy to say nobody I knew was injured. While I count myself lucky to say that statement, it wasn’t all luck that made this possible. If there weren’t so many people ready to volunteer, help and serve Monday, I’m not sure if luck would have been enough to keep as many people’s loved ones safe as there were.

Boston has been stereotyped and characterized as a less-than-friendly city, even ranked the No. 5 rudest city by Travel and Leisure; none of that was on display April 15. I read a story of a Boston University student helping aid an injured child and her mother. More than 1,200 people offered their homes to those who needed a place to stay that night. Suffolk sent updates to students’ email and phones all day long. The local media didn’t speculate about Al-Qaeda being behind this, instead just simply giving viewers the latest news. The city’s retiring Mayor left his hospital bed where he was recovering from a broken leg to address his citizens.

Boston will not enjoy the happiness it did the morning of April 15 for some time but make no mistake, it will be a united city.