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For now normal means hug a cop (again)

April 22, 2013 - Paul Giannamore
In a quick exchange on Facebook the other day with a couple of experienced folks -- us old(er) guys, in other words -- we noted something frightening.

Last week was a week like none we’d experienced, not even the week of Sept. 11, 2001.

Actually, it was kind of like having the whole fall of 2001 jammed into four days.

The Boston Marathon attack would have been enough for any busy news week.

But factor in:

-- The explosion of a fertilizer facility that leveled part of the small town of West Texas, killing some of its first responders and destroying a lot of the little town’s fire apparatus. Again, a story that would have merited the bottom of the front page (or breaking news updates on a website) for a day or two.

-- The interception, detection and subsequent arrest of a suspect in mailings suspected of containing the poison ricin to a Senator and President Obama. Back in 2001, a whacko mailing anthrax grabbed the sub-headlines for weeks.

Indeed, we all noted it was quite indicative of what a sad landmark week we lived through that poison mailed to the President of the United States and the arrest of a suspect barely made a ripple. Let alone that the guy is an Elvis impersonator...but given the week that was, the jokes stay unwritten. Thought of but unwritten here.

-- The manhunt and unprecedented daylong lockdown in Boston that included the death of one bomb suspect and the arrest of the other, including more bomb tossing, a dead police officer, a wounded police officer and a firefight on the streets that sounded like the front lines in Vietnam instead of a Thursday night in an American suburb.

In 2001, we dealt with the awful specter of falling skyscrapers and 19 guys who died while flying airplanes they’d hijacked, taking the passengers with them.

In 2013, we dealt with those multiple tales, any one of which would have been an “eyes of America are turned to thee” kind of story.

It’s a different world.

And one in which we have again “discovered” respect for police and firefighters, just as we did after Sept. 11, 2001. Not sure why we keep forgetting that, but it’s human nature.

So hug a cop or a firefighter today.

By tomorrow, they’ll have been Monday-morning quarterbacked into the “routine” life of America again.

Whatever “routine” means now.

 
 

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