Hell of a day

Hell of a day

April 15
22:50 2013

Yesterday, two bombs went off at the finish line of the 117th annual Boston Marathon. At time of print, three people are dead and more than 144 are injured, some severely. If you want the gritty details, you’ll find them on our front page, not here. We’d like to talk about something a little different.

In President Barack Obama’s press conference last night, he announced that although we do not yet know who is responsible for these tragic events, we will find out and ensure justice is served.

“We still do not know who did this or why, and people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts, but make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this.”

— President Obama

Afterward, a White House official confirmed that our nation would treat these attacks as “acts of terror.” This is self-evidently correct. But it shouldn’t be seen as an implication that we are in any way terrified.

Instead, the silver lining we should retain from such terrible events is their ability to demonstrate the resiliency of the American spirit—or more precisely, the human spirit.

If you can stand to see them again, look up the eyewitness videos of the explosion and its aftermath.

Watch the spectators who ran toward the scene, instead of away from it, to lift debris from casualties and help the injured any way they could.

Think of the competitors who, after running more than 26 miles, kept running to the hospital to donate blood—or lingered at the scene to distribute water and blankets to shocked bystanders.

Last night, hundreds of runners stranded by yesterday’s chaos slept on couches and in spare rooms across Boston furnished by the gratitude of the city’s residents. They’re getting back in touch with their families and receiving the help they need to get on with their lives.

This is the basic human decency that blossoms from the ashes of fear. It can be found in Newtown, Aurora and Oklahoma City. It reached a peak in New York City 12 years ago. We can now add Boston to this tragic yet inspiring list.

If there is any justice in the world, those responsible for these attacks will experience it—and swiftly. We must find them and show them how completely they have failed to terrorize us. Because a world governed by fear is no place to live.

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