“Use your words…” — just like mom taught us

One of my unconfessed fears as a mom came true on Monday when the city of Boston was touched by terror at the Marathon. My youngest child, Claire, is in her 2nd year at Bentley University in Boston. My private fears had all the themes of a season of Law & Order, and then some.

Like mother, like daughter...Clair and I enjoy some mother daughter time.

Me and Claire.

So when the CNN alert came through on my phone, I tried not to panic. I remembered that she told me there were no classes because of the marathon. Then I started thinking, “I wonder if she went over to the marathon with friends?” Tried calling, and I could not get through. Sent a text…waited. Her brothers were calling me, anxious as well. And finally heard back that she was fine. On campus, and safe.

Then checked on my sister-in-law, Jeanne, and my two little nephews, Charlie and Will. They live in that neighborhood, just around the corner from the bombing. They too were safe, but scared.

No doubt, many of you probably had friends and family in Boston, and you were going through the same process.

So as authorities begin the frantic search for the person/persons responsible for this action, I find myself thinking about who they could be? What are they angry about? What is their issue? I wondered if they had an 8 year old boy in their life, a son, nephew, or neighbor, like the little boy they killed in this senseless act? Is it protest? If so, protest over what? Proposed new gun legislation? Taxes? Marriage equality? Our role in international politics? What is it?

Photo courtesy of AP. Martin Richard, 8, was killed Monday afternoon when an explosion tore through the Boston Marathon.

Photo courtesy of AP.
Martin Richard, 8, was killed Monday afternoon when an explosion tore through the Boston Marathon.

The answer to our conflicts and disagreements cannot be solved with more violence. We must find a way to solve these conflicts with words.  This is America! Your voice can be heard if it is loud enough. But being heard will not necessarily mean you get your way. We have a Rule of Law. It is that Rule of Law, based on our Constitution, that defines us. We don’t have to like all of the rules and laws, but we need to respect them, and by respecting them, this means we are respecting our friends, family, neighbors, and fellow citizens.

It is that Rule of Law that makes the United States different from other nations; not better, just different. The MCBA plays an active role in the Rule of Law each day through community education programs, such as the Sydney R. Rubin Mock Trial Program, support of Rochester Teen Court, and our award winning Lawyers for Learning Program at School #29. All of these programs are about teaching young people to use words and their intellect to solve their problems, not violent actions.

The Boston, Newtown, and Aurora tragedies shattered lives, stole innocence, and changed many of us forever. My family was touched directly by Aurora with the loss of Alex Sullivan, the wonderful son, of my cousin, Terry Loewenguth Sullivan and her husband, Tom Sullivan. I have another cousin that lives in Newtown, and although there was no loss in their family, they were touched by the horror.  This is a small world, when we can all be touched by these world events. We need to solve our conflicts by listening, by respecting our differences, and with words, not with more guns, bombs and violence.

Claire has been accepted to study abroad in the fall at the University of Dublin. Of course, I am thrilled for her, or at least that is what I am saying to her, and to myself. But I would be lying if I did not confess, publicly, about my fear. I will fly with her to NYC to secure that final hug, and to catch that final glimpse, that will need to last me 4 months, until I can welcome her safely back in my arms. I know she will be fine, and I will not impose my maternal fears on her, but I am so hopeful for world peace and respect for human life between now and September.

Thanks for checking in…

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