In the aftermath of the unthinkable, dastardly attack on the Boston Marathon and our nation, my heart goes out to the good people of that city and to the myriad individuals whose lives were shattered by the actions of one or more savage beasts. It is impossible to understand how any human being can become so detached from civilization and humanity as to revel in the pain inflicted on those who have caused the perpetrator no harm. What redeeming value is there in an individual who rejoices over inflicting a gory death on an eight-year-old child waiting at the finish line of the race to hug his father?
Without regard to who or what group is ultimately charged with responsibility for targeting innocent men, women and children for death and maiming, we recognize anew that there are barbarians who walk among us every day, whether they be foreign or domestic terrorists, or gun-toting local thugs, and that our lives and the lives of others may be decimated anywhere and at any time, including when we least expect it. Our free and open society is used against us by those who despise us for it.
The goal of terror, of course, is to secure worldwide publicity and to instill fear which causes us to change our lives and routines in response. Unfortunately, the goal of achieving spectacular media coverage is always met after such incidents, no doubt delighting the mass murderers, but so far as altering our lives, we must not acquiesce to their wishes. Naturally, we must take reasonable precautions, but not be deterred in going about our daily lives. To cower in the face of the challenges of this era of violence and hatred would be to grant the terrorists the victory they seek.
May God watch over and bring a measure of peace and comfort to the victims of the latest national horror.
Upper St. Clair