Flags for Boston divide opinion

Adam Cree and Mitchelle De Leon, Reporters

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PRO:

By Adam Cree

Reporter

Deplorable: the only word to describe the Boston Marathon Bombing.

Now, one brother responsible is dead and the other is in a hospital in police custody. Having sustained multiple gunshot wounds, including one to the throat, the last suspect has to write to communicate, a small comfort to those who can no longer walk.

When Whitney Houston died, the White House flew the American flag at half-mast, symbolizing that a tragedy has occurred.

I ask, is it really a national tragedy when an entertainer dies? No. Sad?

For some, but when innocent people are bombed at an international event that is a tragedy.

Innocent lives were lost and people were maimed. Families were devastated and a peaceful event has been forever stained by bloodshed and horror.

People who were there for no political reason, who were simply cheering and having a good time, now have to relearn to walk.

They have to learn how to forget the trauma, to try and move past nightmares. In more ways than one, many lives were shattered on that day.

It is also a massive blow to our national pride. How could we let this happen? Isn’t this what the Department of Homeland Security get’s it’s blank check for?

This isn’t a question of if the flags should be flown at half-mast, but instead for how long. For those who say differently, I ask, why?

Why shouldn’t we mourn the loss of innocent American lives?

If we can’t mourn for members of our own nation, does that mean our aid around the world in times of disaster is hypocrisy?

 Why is it okay to lower our flags for a crack user singer but not a terrorist attack on our own soil?

Lowering the flag to half-mast is deeply symbolic for our nation. If this isn’t a situation that deserves it to express our collective sadness and grief, then nothing is.

Like 9/11, this should be an event that unifies the USA. Instead, it will divide us further, another blow to our national identity, another wedge in our politics. Perhaps that is reason enough to fly the flag at half-mast.

While the news will forget this event in a few months, the families of those hurt never will.

For them, this event will never end. They will be reminded of it every time they see their loved ones’ scars.

Every time they watch a friend tremble at recalling the event, they will be reminded.

Hopefully, through them, we can all remember the tragedy this was. Flying our flags at half mast is the simplest way we, as a nation, have to say, “We’re with you, every step of the way.”

Anything less would be a disgrace and show our joke of “unity” as that, the farce that it is.

CON:

By Mitchelle De Leon

Reporter

Following the Boston Marathon bombings, we should treat the past events with utmost care and respect for everyone.

I believe that flying a flag half-mast is disrespectful to the victims of other tragedies, as if implying that one tragedy is more tragic than the rest.

Incidents with much higher casualties occurred recently. For example, the explosion of a Texas fertilizer plant received much less attention even though its death toll was higher.

Horrifying and senseless acts of violence occur in our country on a daily basis, but the victims remain faceless and nameless because the scale of the violent acts does not match up to bombings at a famed marathon.

Outside the borders of our nation, we have our armed forces risking their lives. Therefore, we should also honor each life lost in those costly wars, but despite our patriotism, the vast majority of those brave individuals become statistics with many untold stories.

When we return our flags back to their normal state, we’re signaling the end of the mourning period, at least for the people who were not directly affected by the bombings.

We’re signaling our return to apathy toward victims of any tragedy.

This apathy is only natural. We shrug off the many terror incidents outside our country because we believe that we have successfully insulated our country from them.

Our apathy stems from our culture, but that doesn’t mean it should be acceptable. The Boston incident is unique because the perpetrators, as we have learned, had a political and ideological agenda that previously inflicted our country with immense sorrow; hence, we use the word “terrorists” to describe them.

The tragedy at Boston affects us more than the explosion of the Texas fertilizer plant or any other recent incident, within or outside our country, because it succeeds in sending the terrorists’ chilling message:  This can happen to you.

For instance, only a week after the Boston bombings, Canadian authorities announced that they thwarted a plot to derail a train headed to New York City.

We will never be truly secure despite all the preventive measures that we have already taken and the measures that we will likely enact in the near future.

Individuals like the Tsarnaev brothers will continue in their attempts to penetrate our morale and to punctuate the history of our country.

By lowering our flags, we’re allowing these terrorists to propel their message more than they already have.

Over time, we will forget the names Dzokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, instead remembering them with one word that one of their uncles famously used to describe them: losers.

Unfortunately, we will also forget the names Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi, Martin Richard and Sean Collier along with the 298 individuals injured.

We should honor all of these victims but not with a ceremony that doesn’t include victims of lesser-known tragedies.

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