To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Words in the physics realm have rarely been so personified than what we witnessed at the Boston Marathon. As heartbroken as we were staring at the videos of pure massacre, we were equally surprised at the small numbers of those lost, all due to the heroism of the many who ran towards the chaos. Amongst the videos I viewed, one struck me with pride and a restored faith in photography.
It was a video that showed the response to the first blast. In it chaos encompasses the street, but many rush in. While photographers around grab pictures with hopes of Pulitzers, one photojournalist (with 70-200 and 24-70 slung over shoulder) decides that the story is less important than the lives of those impacted by this attack. This unnamed man slings the cameras and opts to start pulling debris off the victims in an effort to help medics access those in need of care.
Without second thought, without a hope for fame and awards, this man gave up any chance of getting “the shot” so that he could help those in need.
While the news will surround itself with the photographers that captured the images of carnage and chaos, rarely (if ever) have they mentioned the photographer that wasn’t taking pictures. In all honesty, I didn’t even notice him until my wife pointed at the television screen and said, “look, that photographer is helping instead of shooting… that is a hero.”
A hero indeed, the man that put the cameras aside to help is an idol to me. He encompassed compassion towards strangers instead of gratification from the public. While humility is easily pronounced in times of good fortune, it takes true character to embrace it in the face of opportunity. Could this anonymous photographer have created an image worthy of a Pulitzer? We will never know. However, did his willingness to give up such awards in order to save complete strangers make him a hero? Undoubtably.
This is what is all boils down to, and why the attacks on Boston mean more for Boston than the coward that bombed the innocent. All this person managed to prove is that man cares enough for one another that opportunity, at the sacrifice of others, just isn’t worth it. When tragedy presents itself to you, be the one that comes to the aid of the few rather than spreads the word to the many.