Even before the smoke from Boston’s twin blasts had cleared, a large number of people were running the wrong direction. Instead of racing away from two deadly concussions towards safety, they ran into the smoke.
This is the type of selfless courage for which first responders are known. It is not, however, the type of behavior one expects from random civilians when a tragic event occurs.
But that is surely what happened last Monday when an improvised explosive device lit off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. As police and firefighters ran towards the carnage, they were joined by a number of courageous who risked their lives because other people were in trouble.
The bombing was a horrible deja vu after years of peace. Unknown individual(s) or group, bent on stoking the embers of our latent fear, managed to penetrate our security and commit a malicious act which killed three people, wounded scores and tainted a historic American city’s most special event.
Their goal, as always, was to scare us, to make us too afraid to enjoy all of the unsurpassable freedoms we have in this country. Rather than avail themselves of our society’s freedom to protest, they resort to acts of terror – not because of the false causes they preach, but because they are sociopaths who relish inflicting their violent will on others.
That was the reason terrorists filled pressure cookers with shrapnel and black powder. It was the reason they placed those devices in a crowded public area. It was the reason they used an egg timer to ignite them and killed, among others, an 8-year-old boy.
And yet they failed to achieve their goal.
This was a watershed moment for our country. With true grit, the denizens of this centuries-old city took a hard shot and responded quickly and decisively. By stepping up so readily, Bostonians have earned the respect of a nation. Soon, the slogan “Boston Strong” will be synonymous with facing down the cowards who prey on the innocent.
Instead of backwards, Boston will push forward. Already, Massachussetts Governor Deval Patrick is predicting a resurgent 2014 Boston Marathon.
Kevin Cullen, a Boston Globe reporter, summed it up thus, “Our revenge is to go back to normal.”
Any would-be terrorists would do well to consider that statement. Boston ain’t afraid of you.