In the wake of two bomb blasts in Boston near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday that killed three, including an eight-year-old boy, and injured more than 175, our thoughts turn to our fellow Americans, stunned and frightened, and to what we can do for them.
Many of us can’t help thinking back to September 11, 2001, and the terrorist attacks that changed everything for us, forever. Many of the same feelings of confusion, anger, sorrow and fear arose again. Many folks from our area were in that marathon. Terror hit home, again.
Immediately following the Boston attack, we wondered who was responsible. Some immediately accused, or suggested their favorite political or cultural scapegoats. It’s only natural to have such a visceral reaction, but it’s not a reaction that should be acted on. By late Tuesday afternoon, no information was available about the perpetrators or their motives. A rush to judgment would not do us credit.
Many also immediately asked, “How can I help?” Heroes were on the scene, running toward the blasts, rather than running from them. Raw video footage has shown us men in police uniforms and military uniforms, and civilians, including marathon runners, all focused on clearing debris and reaching the injured. Some Bostonians opened their homes and gave food to the marathon runners whose departure from Boston was delayed. So many donations of blood were made that the Red Cross had more than enough. Already people around the country, including here in Baltimore, are committing themselves publicly to running the Boston Marathon next year in a show of support.
We can’t ignore the weight of the crime. President Obama spoke for all of us when he vowed that those responsible for the attack will “feel the full weight of justice” for this act of terror.
When tragedy strikes somewhere in our country or someone or a group comes against our values and against the principles we hold dear— we cease to be left or right, Democrats or Republicans, or conservatives or liberals, and we stand tall together as one undivided nation— as Americans.