In the same amount of time it takes normal folks to fully process the breadth of a tragedy, you can rest assured that the ne'er–do–wells of the world are already devising a way to make money off of it. Usually it’s some kind of capitalistic outsider. But people have stepped up to generate a little money off the back of the Boston Marathon bombings, and they were actual participants.
At least seven are selling their 2013 Boston Marathon medals on EBay, drawing the ire of critics who accuse them of trying to cash in on the horrific events. One seller peddles his memento like this: "2013 Official Boston Marathon Finishers Medal given only to qualified runners who finished before the bombing took place." Classy.
Most of the others aren’t much better. It’s one thing to hock your medal and offer up the money to charity to say, help with the medical expenses of those injured or assist the families of others who were so senselessly—and fatally—victimized. But cash rules, even in the aftermath of nefarious mass attacks that unfolded just days ago. Time’s a-wastin’ while the hurt’s still fresh.
Of the others listed on EBay, only three sellers mention anything about donating the proceeds of their medal hustling to any of the charities set up to support those affected by the bombings. One says he will donate all the proceeds, the others say they will donate half of the proceeds. And the remaining four don’t create any confusion by even hinting at any kind of philanthropy.
Said sales have also infuriated the medals’ manufacturer, who has been making them for the Boston Marathon for more than 30 years. “Now that we’re seeing some of the medals being sold on EBay, it’s kind of disgusting, in my eyes. You go out and run a marathon and that’s a personal goal in your life, to run a marathon. That’s something that you achieve personally. Why would you want to go out and buy a medal? Just to remember the tragedy?"
Agreed. There are plenty of us who can barely fast-walk around a city block without wanting to call it quits, much less finish up a marathon and earn ourselves a shiny, pretty medal. Most of the people who do are too proud of their accomplishment to even consider selling it. So this just goes to show that, well, I’m not sure what it shows. But it’s not a flattering side of humanity.
Oh, incidentally, the highest bid so far is $500.
Would you sell your medal—or any kind of valuable—following a big news story if you thought you could make a few bucks off of it?
Image via soniasu_/Flickr