A runner retrieves his belongings from a Boston Athletics Association worker at a sorting area near the site of an explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
New Orleans, La. -
Horror. Shock. Anger. They're all feelings we felt when the bombs exploded in Boston, killing three as of this writing and maiming many.
They brought an ugly moment back to my memory in vivid, living color: July 27th, 1996.
I was in Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta back in the summer of 1996, doing interviews along Radio Row. We were right across the street from CNN Center, where I worked all those years ago. It was a joyous time in the city, celebrating its first ever Olympic Games.
I left for the 25-minute drive to my house, and by the time I arrived the telephone was ringing. There had been an explosion, a bomb. One woman, 44-year-old Alice Hawthorne, was killed when a nail from the bomb penetrated her skull. A cameraman from Turkey, Melih Uzunyol, died from a heart attack as a result of the bombing. 111 people were wounded. It took me hours to get back to the scene.
Security guard Richard Jewell was the initial suspect, and was hounded by authorities and news media for months before eventually being cleared. The real bomber, Eric Robert Rudolph, wasn't identified as a suspect until two more bombings had taken place in the city, and he wasn't caught until late May of 2003.
That's a long time for the citizenry of a major American city to wait for closure. We felt violated all that time, and I'm sure my neighbors in Boston will feel the same, once the initial shock of the Marathon bombings gives way to the tidal wave of sick feelings to come.
It will take time, but the authorities will find the person(s) who committed this cowardly act. Justice will be served. But, just as in the Olympic bombing, this attack will leave scars on a lot of innocent people who were gathered for no other purpose than to enjoy a great event.
And there's the irony about the Patriot's Day bombing, which occurred in the third week of April.
During the third week of April in, 1995, we had to report on the Oklahoma City bombing.
Third week of April in 1999, there was Columbine.
Third week of April, 2007, the Virginia Tech massacre.
I don't know about you, but I want that week back. I want my sense of well-being for my family back. I want my freedom, and yours, back.
And I refuse to give in, give up, or give out in my prayers that these wants, these needs will be met for all of us.
God bless all of you in Boston.
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