I could use this opportunity as a platform for my ideals. I could ask you how in the world we can let the perpetrators of this crime live out their lives in the comfort of prison where they will have three hot meals, cable TV, and a playground. I could point out the hilarity of saying that one can’t be anti-abortion and pro-death penalty, as if unborn babies are capable of such a heinous act. I could point out how absolutely impotent the Patriot Act, the Department of Homeland Security, the empty promises of increased security really are when facing an enemy that hides in the shadows.
But then I watched social media as events played out. I saw runners, spectators, and first responders rushing in to tear down the metal barrier to get to the wounded, even as another bomb went off in the background. I watched as men used their shirts and belts as tourniquets to save the lives of dismembered Americans, attacked for no rational reason. I watched as Boston residents published their addresses and phone numbers on the Internet offering to house those from out of town who couldn’t leave. I watched calls of support and aid come from every corner of the planet. Our cold war enemy, Russia, offered to aid in the investigation using their extensive anti-terrorism forces. Russia really doesn’t like America, particularly our current administration – yet they offered to help.
After the attacks, Patton Oswalt (American comedian) wrote this: “…the vast majority stands against the darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago. So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”
It would be easy to simply focus on the images from yesterday, the blood, the tears, the gravely wounded and killed. But if history has taught us anything, it’s that human beings are resilient. Five years from now we will hear the stories of how victims who lost their legs in the blast are now running marathons on prosthetic limbs, how the pain brought families closer, and many stories of triumph over evil. We simply have to wait as the process of healing begins.
In the end, those who carried out this horrendous crime will have to face justice… first in our courts, and eventually in front of God. Until then, Boston, stay strong.