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The Tragedy In Boston Is On My Mind

boston marathon bombing

I’ve been distracted the last couple of days thinking about what happened at the Boston Marathon earlier this week. By now, you’ve most certainly heard about the two explosions that detonated near the finish line at the Boston Marathon, killing three people -- including one little boy -- and injuring more than 170 people.

It’s a dark day when Americans have to fear walking down the street. Broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw described it this way: “That’s just the reality living in a free society,” and “We're the most advanced nation in the world, living with Third World vulnerabilities.”

My heart and prayers go out to those impacted by the explosions, and I want to express my gratitude to the police and medical personnel who helped the injured, as well as the runners, who reportedly ran to aid the injured. Even in the face of evil, there is good; those are the people worth celebrating and raising up.

Although I haven’t checked running a marathon off of my bucket list yet (One Team BEEF member ran 52 marathons in 52 weeks!), I did have the opportunity to be at the Boston Marathon in 2007 when I was a National Beef Ambassador. Each year, the ambassador team, sponsored by beef checkoff dollars, travels to Boston and teams up with the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative to promote beef at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Of all of the promotions we did that year, the Boston Marathon was my favorite. We had a booth a block from the finish line, and we served samples of Provencal Beef Stew -- a recipe from The Healthy Beef Cookbook -- to athletes and spectators at the event. We were there to show athletes and health-conscious families from not just the U.S. but all around the world, that beef is a healthy part of a well-balanced diet and helps to fuel an active lifestyle.

Watching the athletes cross the finish line and enjoy the camaraderie of completing a historical race like the Boston Marathon was truly inspiration. So I’m deeply saddened that this event, which brings the world together, has been tainted by violence and tragedy.

I am relieved to hear that the 2012-13 National Beef Ambassador Team members, who were in Boston on the day of the race to promote beef, are doing okay. And, I thank them for representing us cowboys back home in an urban hub like Boston.

I’m sure we will continue to get more answers about the people behind this senseless act of violence. Right now, however, I want to send out my thoughts and prayers to those impacted, and fire up a candle in the hope that the light in our society will illuminate the darkness.

What are your thoughts on this senseless tragedy? Share them with us in the comments section below.

By the way, all the extensive news reporting on the Boston tragedy isn’t aimed at alarming children, but they can’t help but be affected by all the coverage and the conversation among the adults in their lives. A North Dakota State University Extension publication, "Talking to Children About Terrorism," is now available. It offers age-appropriate responses for parents and others to use in talking to children about terrorism.


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