As a Boston native and alum of a Boston-area university, I've decided to break the blog's self-imposed hiatus to comment briefly on what is almost certainly an act of terrorism at the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon.
The deaths and injuries of marathon runners and those cheering them on is tragic. Marathoners represent the best in humanity: dedication, perseverance, achievement, and good will. To target athletes is a heinous act, and to target those cheering them on (as I had the chance to do in college) is heinous as well.
Today's attack reminds us that the victims of terrorism are not politicos or partisans or ideologues. They are human beings caught up in an act of political violence whose target is the government, but whose casualties are people. Be it in the Middle East or the East Coast, the reaction is eerily similar. Shock, disbelief, grief, and mourning know no national boundaries. The realization that "it can happen here too" is unsettling regardless of whether one realizes it in Arabic, Hebrew, or English. Today is Israeli Memorial Day, on which the country pauses to remember its fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism. Here in the U.S. we now face the morbid coincidence of empathy with that day and all for which it stands.
The days ahead will not be easy for Boston, nor for the country. However, we Bostonians are a strong and resilient bunch. We should have every confidence that this is a tragedy out of which Boston and the entire United States will emerge stronger. And while they may have showed strength today, those who perpetrated these attacks will be held accountable.
And with jurors who will be Red Sox fans, Gd help them.