Louisville, Kentucky – Friday morning, four Pakistani-American doctors dressed in business suits and medical scrubs sat in one of this city’s most popular breakfast spots and fretted. At an adjacent table, a middle-aged woman grew visibly nervous when their native land was mentioned. One of the doctors, a 47-year-old cardiologist, was despondent.
“We were all praying this wouldn’t happen,” he told me. “No matter what you do in your community, that’s the label that is attached.”
Another doctor worried that years of outreach efforts by the city’s 10,000-strong Muslim community, a mix of Bosnians, Somalis and Iraqis, would be lost. Thursday, he sent a letter to the local newspaper condemning the Boston attack “no matter who committed it.” When news broke Friday that the two suspects were Chechen Muslims, his family grew nervous.
“Five minutes ago my mom called from Copenhagen to see if I was ok,” the 41-year-old geriatrician said. “It rattles all of us.”
Clearly, Bostonians have and will suffer the most from the marathon bombings. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people “sheltered in place” in and around Boston Friday. The injured now face months, if not years, of arduous recuperation. And the families of the dead will never recover.