There is a certain naive hope among Americans, or probably among the larger human species, that days like today just stop happening. That bombs stop going off, that innocent people stop losing their lives for causes and derangements that are foreign both in spirit and in nature. As it seems to go with life, though, there is always another bombing. There is always another act of terror. And today, it was once again our country’s turn to bear the brunt of that reality.
People are apt to talk about how “tough” people in Boston are, how the Irish nature of that city and its historic inclination toward battle and resistance have prepared it for just such a moment. I’d wager that no one is ever ready for a bomb to go off in the place they call home.
But we are tough. The human spirit is tough. Northeastern urbanites, by our nature, have been trained to be tough. We’re also very kind. Pictures abound of the scene after today’s bombing, with more people running toward the calamity than running away from it. The sensible side of the human spirit understands that we’re all in this together and that a stranger’s suffering is also our own.
That’s the great thing that we can take away from today. The terror, the injuries, and the fatalities are absolutely tragic. But the uncompromising community and purity of spirit seen in the wake of those things today in Boston is absolutely inspiring. Let’s be resolute when pursuing whoever is responsible, but let’s also remember that we’re in this together and that, with arms locked, terrorism itself is a failed ideology.