On April 15, two bombs exploded near the end of the Boston Marathon course. Those running toward the end of their 26-mile test of endurance and the family and friends cheering them on were rocked by the successive blasts that sent ball bearings through the crowd of innocents.
Three people were killed, including an 8-year-old who had just hugged his father as he approached the finish line and was returning to his mother. Another 176 were injured, several losing limbs.
We aren’t powerless in these situations, even when faced with incomprehensible violence. We can refuse to cower and panic. We can’t give into terrorism, whether it’s planned and generated from domestic or international sources. We have to demonstrate the resolve to carry on and stand together.
After 9/11, we were warned that more attacks would happen in the coming months. They didn’t. Our federal, state and local law enforcement worked together to quietly destroy the terrorist networks. However, no system is foolproof and some murderers may go undetected — not because they are particularly skilled or criminal masterminds, but they are, at times, lucky to avoid detection.
Our freedoms have been hard won — through wars here and abroad. Lives have been sacrificed so that we can live in this democracy. No cowardly assault on our fellow Americans and other innocents is going to make us run and hide.
Many are talking about how this event has changed the Boston Marathon forever. Security for runners and spectators will be heightened, and some will be reluctant to participate.
I predict the opposite will be true. The 2014 Boston Marathon will have the most runners in its history. America will rally around the event to make a statement.
Terrorism will not defeat us.