04/19/2013 05:21 pm ET | Updated Jun 19, 2013

Boston Forever

What do John F. Kennedy, Ben Affleck, Mark Wahlberg, Henri David Thoreau, Julia Child, Michael Bloomberg, Matt Damon, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edward Norton, Uma Thurman, and Malcom X. have in common? They are, or were, all famous Bostonians, among many others, of course. Those alive mourn with us for the ones killed and maimed during the Boston Marathon attack.

Today, Boston is on the map for the world to see.

Who knew where Chechnya was before the suspected Boston bombers were identified as natives of that country? Even though Chechnya has been in the news many times with various bombings, including in a church and in the subway, killing a lot of civilians, including children, geography is not a forte of Americans. I bet today Chechnyans know where Boston is.

Most Americans would not be able to pinpoint Chechnya on a map. Russia, yes, maybe, but probably none of the 15 different countries that seceded from the motherland, Russia, since the '90s.

Who knew where the Chilean Atacama Desert was, before 33 miners were trapped underground in the Copiago mine located there? Would you have been able to pinpoint Sumatra, before the massive tsunami that killed 130,000 in Indonesia alone? Would you know where Sudan and South Sudan are, if George Clooney were not involved in their future? How about Okuma, the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan? California is to this day recovering pieces of items displaced by the tsunami caused by the earthquake that broke the nuclear plant.
Who knew where Prague, Oklahoma was, before the earthquake that was assumed to be caused by fracking? And the Mumbai fire last year in India?

Disasters have a devastating way of putting hurt pushpins on the face of the Earth in a way that no other event can. The tragedies are all vibrant and heartbreaking, whether it's an orchestrated attack or an act of nature; anything that rages out of our power crushes us deeply. Our planet that was once nearly uncharted has been shrunk by many catastrophic happenings. Social media has made it that much easier to be instantly informed and connected.

Today we feel for the wounded of the marathon. Our hearts have stopped for a second, our speech has been silenced, and our psyche is damaged a little bit each time. But humans are resilient, we survive the worst, we get up, we pick up, we walk again, we run again, we sing again. Nothing can stop us.

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