I’m happy. I’m happy that Boston’s nightmare appears to be over. I’m happy that a city I love, a city I lived in for 5 years, the city where I met my wife, the city we hope to move back to one day, is returning to normal. I’m happy that, with the sad exception of MIT police officer Sean Collier, the first responders are all returning home to their families. I’m happy about the resilience that the fine city of Boston showed and I’m confident that Marathon Monday will be celebrated as joyously as ever next year. I’m happy that my friends who lived close enough to hear the gun shots early Friday morning can safely walk their neighborhood again. I’m happy that newscasters are no longer reporting 24/7 from street corners I once frequented and hope to do so again soon. I’m happy… I’m happy…
But at the same time, I’m not. Since the younger Tsarnaev’s arrest last night, there has been much celebration. Most of it was in the vein of what I discussed above. And I’m happy for those people celebrating in that way. But not all of the celebrating took that form. Some of what I saw and read had a different tone to it. Some people were not celebrating the return to safety and normalcy of Boston… they were celebrating the bloodied fate of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. And that… that I’m not happy about.
Don’t get me wrong. I am glad that those two young men are off the street. All of those things I’m happy about are true because they are off the street. But I’d be happier still if we lived in a world where we did not have Dzhokhars and Tamerlans… a world where seemingly well-adjusted young men did not turn into cold blooded killers. There is nothing happy about the turn these two men’s lives took. I wish I didn’t have to be happy about all those things in the first paragraph. But I do. And I am.
I will stand side-by-side with Bostonians, Americans, and other peace-loving humans alike in celebrating the end of this nightmare. But I will not celebrate the fate of the Tsarnaev brothers. I am not happy that one lays dead and the other in serious condition in the hospital. I’d be happier if Tamerlan was returning from a day training in the ring to see his wife and daughter. I’d be happier if Dzhokhar was wrapping up a class in marine biology and planning his Friday night plans with his college roommates. But that isn’t the route they chose.
I’m happy. And I’m not.