Sample English Paper on Lessons from a Traumatizing Event

As I arrived at Boston for the Boston Marathon on 16 April 2018, I could not help but notice that everything had drastically changed since the last time I was there. It had been five years already since the tragedy.  The only physical constant reminder of the melancholic events that took place on 15 April 2013 was the vigilant security personnel that was all over patrolling the city. Everybody seemed excited and hoped for an excellent event, but I knew that they worried about a similar event occurring.

15 April 2013 was supposed to be memorable and happy for my family and me. I had been over joyous when we joined our extended family and friends to watch and cheer two of our family friends who were taking part in the computation.  Attending the marathon was a family tradition. We were standing near the finish line on Boylston Street, and as usual, a bevy of people was happily mingling and cheering at the top of their voices. We were in high spirits with the Boston unpredictable weather having favored us on that memorable day. It had been about three hours since the first athlete had crossed the finish line when I heard the first loud bang, which sounded like an explosion. Consequently, everything came to a standstill and there was pin drop silence for a second. People then started screaming and running away from the vicinity of the explosion. Bags and other items lay all over the place unclaimed, and people stumbled over them as they fled. Less than fifteen minutes later, another shocker followed.

The second explosive detonated one block away and was just as loud and alarming as the first one. What ensued was heart wrecking, what looked like a scene from a horror movie. Several meters from where I was, some people laid on the ground with limbs that were almost detached from their bodies, others were covered in blood and crying in pain as more laid utterly still along the street covered in injuries. A pool of viscous blood flowed unrestrained from the unlucky victims. Screams of frightened children and adults filled the air.

The explosives killed three innocent citizens and left an estimated two hundred and sixty-four injured. One of the injured ones was in critical condition. Within a span of fewer than fifteen seconds, the Boylston Street had been turned into a scene of a horrific crime. Later, it was determined that the attack had been perpetrated by two Islamist extremist brothers.

The Response

The hours following the terror attacks portrayed the extent of human compassion as volunteers offered their help in the rescue endeavors. Having been a registered Red Cross volunteer, I had to stifle the need to run and help the victims. Medics, rescue workers, other civilians and law enforcers united to aid to victims. We worked endlessly, administering first aid, comforting victims, and helping them into the public and private ambulances that had been dispatched from across the state to help the victims. Meanwhile, the evacuation was conducted in surrounding buildings and runners were also diverted to Boston Common as an emergency strategy.

Terrorism events may lead to more psychological effects compared with other traumatizing events due to a lack of control during such attacks (DiMaggio et al. 559). During the first years, I coped with the traumatic events of 15 April 2013 by suppressing memories of them. However, after two years, the memories persistently came back, and I could not push them out of my mind no matter how hard I tried. Sometimes I woke up drenched in sweat and screaming as a result of nightmares. I also became constantly terrified of the unknown. However, through professional help, I was able to cope with what had happened and deal with the trauma eventually.

On 16 April 2018, I took another step forward in my healing journey when I visited the scene of the attacks. Indeed, the visit was bittersweet for me, since I was appreciative of being alive but then felt sorry for those who had lost their lives, those who had lost loved ones, and the severely injured. While the event was inhumane, it also showcased the selflessness, compassion, care, and unconditional love that humans have for one another. Essentially, the event showcased human beings in their worst (the terrorists) and their best (the rescuers). Another positive aspects of the attack are that great bonds were created, wonderful friendships were forged, and above all lives were saved.

Works Cited

DiMaggio, C. and Galea, S. “The Behavioral Consequences of Terrorism: A Meta-Analysis.” Academic Emergency Medicine vol. 13, no .5, 2006, pp. 559-566.