Play on in the name of freedom

We honor the fallen by forging ahead
Apr. 18, 2013 @ 10:30 AM


It's an acronym used by law enforcement meaning "Be On the Lookout," and for the sake of our society, we should all stay in BOLO mode.

The Boston bombings that killed three and injured 176 during the Boston Marathon — one of our nation's prized sporting events — will long be remembered for the shockwave of sadness it has sent from one coast to another.

Unfortunately, this is the world we live in today. Terrorism isn't going away, so all Americans must view themselves as freedom fighters.

When the U.S. invaded Iraq under the first President Bush, a lot of the Iraqi soldiers were waving white towels in surrender without firing a shot. They were hungry and living under a cruel dictator.

Our way of living is worth fighting for, and even when lives are lost, our belief system powers us through it.

I love the spirit of Bill Effrig, the 78-year-old runner who wobbled to the ground in the footage so many of us have watched on a loop.

Effrig, who traveled across the country from the state of Washington, told reporters he was "feeling pretty good about his time" when the blast knocked him to the ground about 15 feet from the finish line.

With the aid of another, one of the countless who ran toward the epicenter to help the victims, Effrig crossed the finish line and then refused a wheelchair.

After running 26.2 miles, and surviving a bombing, Effrig walked six blocks back to his hotel.

We can gripe and complain about the economy, high taxes or whose in power, and that's fine. But don't lose sight of Effrig's generation, the one that reacted to the attack on Pearl Harbor and served as a catalyst in World War II.

If it wasn't for the fearless grit of men like my grandfather, the late Durward Murphy, who served as a paratrooper in World War II, we might not be living in a free society.

We owe it to those who have fought for our freedom to forge ahead while we mourn the tragedy that took place in Boston on Monday.

We also owe it to them to play the games and enjoy the moment, because our affection for sports is part of what makes this country so great.

I disagree with canceling the Celtics-Pacers game. I don't care if it means holding up the playoffs. If I was the decision maker that game would get played, even if the venue had to be changed to assure enough security.

Following the attack on NYC on Sept. 11, 2001, the NFL postponed games for a weekend but made them up later in the season.

It may sound ridiculous to some, but playing through the tragedy is a great way to honor the fallen.

Anyone who lives in fear of terrorism gives the attackers power.

I understand why we aren't popular with some around the world. I certainly don't agree with all the decisions our leaders make, especially when it comes to occupying other countries, but blowing up innocent citizens is a cowardly and disgraceful response.

I plan to attend the Boston Marathon next year as a show of solidarity.

I'm wired to remain stoic at sporting events, but I will be there as an American cheering for people I don't know simply because I can.

And if you ever hear of me getting blown up at a sporting event, just know I was there without hesitation and I died doing something I loved.