The Edmond Sun

April 17, 2013

The Eagle-Tribune of North Andover, Mass.: Marathon bombing was a vicious, cowardly act


CNHI News Service

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — The Boston Marathon is a celebration of human spirit — of the athletic grace God grants to some, of the sheer determination He gives to others. No terrorist’s bombs can extinguish that flame.

While the investigation was just beginning as this was written, have no doubt about this: Monday’s horrible attack against the runners and spectators viewing the Boston Marathon was an act of terrorism. Whether the perpetrators of this cowardly act turn out to be motivated by politics or religion, whether they were foreign or domestic matters little. Even if the bomber turns out to be a lone psychopath, the goal was the same: To take a day of joyous celebration and turn it into a scene of carnage, fear and death.

Two bombs exploded just before 3 p.m. near the marathon’s finish line on Boylston Street. The first blew up amid a crowd of spectators watching runners finish the 26.2-mile race about four hours and 9 minutes after it began; the other exploded seconds later about 100 yards away.

Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said in a press conference that the bombs were small devices that had been placed in trash cans.

Initial reports said two people were killed and more than 20 were injured. But the toll of injured soon began to climb with reports of many times that number treated at Boston hospitals. Some of the injuries were severe with witnesses reporting several people missing limbs.

At Massachusetts General Hospital, Alisdair, Conn., chief of emergency services, told the Associated Press: “This is something I’ve never seen in my 25 years here ... this amount of carnage in the civilian population. This is what we expect from war.”

There is no cause, no political position, no gripe or grievance that justifies such attacks on innocent people. We know state and federal authorities will pursue whoever committed this outrageous assault on decency and civilized society. We encourage them to be relentless.

When those responsible are found, justice should be swift and meted out not only to the individuals directly responsible, but also to any who provided encouragement or support for the attack.

The marathon bomber may have achieved his immediate goal of killing and injuring innocent people and gaining national attention. But whatever long-term ambition he may harbor surely will be foiled.

The American people do not bow before terrorists. Nor will the human spirit embodied in the Boston Marathon be cowed.