When I first learned of the Boston Marathon bombings, I was immediately scared. I thought of all the people who were hurt and wondered why someone would do such a thing to so many innocent people.
As a child, when something bad happened, I would always go to my mom and she would console me. Now as an adult, when this tragedy struck, I turned to the TV to watch President Barack Obama address the nation.
After listening for those brief moments, I knew there was a plan of action in progress. Obama put my mind at ease for my own safety, and he understood that the pain and suffering of those affected could not be mended in one speech.
With this speech, I questioned whether it is the president’s role to comfort me and to put me at ease in times of crisis.
Junior Donovan Argueta thinks honesty is key in tragic situations.
“We need to be prepared for what is really happening,” said Argueta. “It shows a president’s integrity to have him tell us the truth about what he does and doesn’t know.”
To have our leader say that while officials do not know who the culprits are but that they are working to their fullest extent to find out shows honesty and determination.
According to CBS Boston, after the bombings, Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visited hospitals to see recovering victims.
Junior Emily Sedgwick believes it is the president’s job to give us information and make us feel more secure.
“Presidents should address the situation, making sure not to hide any information and make it all known to the public,” said Sedgwick. “What’s important is that they put it in a way that makes the public feel safe and secure.”
Senior Robert Ambrose believes the president should be uplifting and strong for the American people.
“It’s also important for them to be able to create something positive to come out of the tragedy in the aftermath,” said Ambrose.
Ambrose said that after 9/11 security at airports was heightened; for mass shootings, the issue of gun control comes up; and with events like the Boston Marathon bombings, the possibility of more security at events like these should be in the works.
It seems that after every tragedy, we, as a nation, work hard to find solutions to these horrific situations.
After 9/11, President George W. Bush’s approval ratings were 90 percent. No one could forget the picture of him in a casual jacket with a megaphone, standing on the rubble at ground zero.
However, Bush had a different reaction to Hurricane Katrina.
Angela Fentiman, adjunct lecturer of communication, gave a realistic idea of what people want after a tragedy and how a president needs to react.
“We want someone to take responsibility, whether that means providing food, clothing and shelter to hurricane survivors or leading the charge to bring terrorists to justice,” said Fentiman. “Now, more than ever, we demand transparency and accountability. Twenty-four-hour media outlets cover our national tragedies from every imaginable angle and social media makes everyone a journalist. This means that elected leaders must be both visible and vocal in the throes of a national disaster or tragedy.”
Fentiman went on to describe the difference of the responses between Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina. The government during and after Katrina, “did not respond with urgency or empathy, the two most important aspects of crisis management,” said Fentiman. “By comparison, during Hurricane Sandy, we could see New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie helping and hugging his constituents and providing President Obama with a tour of the aftermath. When our seemingly peaceful and safe world is threatened, we want to be comforted so we can get back to that feeling as quickly as possible. No one can restore that feeling of security the way a president can.”
When Obama spoke at a press conference after the Boston Marathon bombings, he said, “We reaffirm that on days like this, there are no Republicans or Democrats. We are Americans united in concern for our fellow citizens.”
It is statements like this that lets Americans know that during this tragedy, we will stand together.
But it also echoes around the world that even after a horrific event, we will not be broken. We will stand tall and stand in unity.
Published May 1, 2013