The 2013 Boston Marathon bombings were in no doubt a tragic, spectacle disaster. Similarities can be drawn between the magnitude of reaction and response from the Boston Marathon bombings to the 2010 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti. The death and destruction caused by the marathon bombings is significantly smaller than that caused by the earthquake, but the level of response in proportion to each disaster are similar.

The sentiment of “Boston Strong” emerged from the Boston Marathon bombings, illuminating the strength of the city in its swift ability to respond and recover. People found pride in the community through admiration and appreciation for everyone involved, including first responders, medical personnel, bystanders, runners, and police. The city, the country, and the whole world acknowledged the tragedy that occurred and was eager and wanting to help in any way that they could. The same can be said about the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

The One Fund Boston was established immediately following the bombings and after just two months disbursed $61 million dollars worth of donations to victims and their families. Concerts and fundraisers were held and donations were given from all over the world in order to help those affected. Parallels can be drawn between this aspect of the response with the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, where an unprecedented amount of monetary aid was fundraised to help with recovery: approximately $13.5 billion. The Hope for Haiti charity telethon was one of the coordinated fundraisers in response to the disaster.

Unlike other spectacle disasters talked about over the course of the semester, such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and Hurricane Katrina, it has been made clear through thorough review that the aftermath of bombings was not exacerbated by a failure in greater systems in place in the United States, such as national security. The disaster was sudden, with no warning, and the people of Boston did their best to unite in the face of adversity. The question is- had this disaster happened in a different city, would the aftermath have been the same? Would people have responded similarly? For instance, if this had happened in New York City, a city which has already been victim to a tragic terrorist attack, would there have been greater effects on national security?

Through this course, we have been encouraged to analyze the differential effects of disasters on its victims. In the case of the Boston Marathon bombings, it is evident that the main difference in how people were affected was simply based on proximity to the bomb. That is what makes this disaster so unique- the fact that socioeconomic factors had no affect on who were victims. They were simply and tragically in the wrong place at the wrong time.