Editorial: Etched in our memory
In Massachusetts, April 15 has more meaning than just the deadline for filing one’s taxes.
One year ago, on a day that has become an important American event, the annual running of the Boston Marathon became a terrorist target as two homemade bombs went off near the finish line. This despicable act of murder left three dead and 260 wounded — and covered the city and region with shock and fear as authorities turned to finding out who was responsible.
The story didn’t end on Beacon Street, though. During the next couple of days, suspects would be identified, a police officer at MIT would be killed and then a shootout occured with two suspects — who opened fire on, and hurled bombs at, police officers. One suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, would die during the confrontation while his younger brother, Dzhokhar, though wounded, would later be found hiding in a boat stored in a backyard in Watertown.
The shock and sorrow that these events engendered are etched into our collective memories. Those thoughts, however, also include many acts of heroism, ranging from the scenes of people jumping in to help those wounded in the bombing to officers facing gunfire, as well as the outpouring of care and concern not just in New England but across the nation and from around the world.
This tragedy found its match in the determination and good that was captured in the phrase “Boston Strong.” And in the year since, there have been many stories of strength — among the people who were injured — a number whom who lost limbs — and the families, friends and communities connected to the people who lost their lives.
No one wants to mark a tragedy like the Boston Marathon Bombing. We can, however, remember this day and continue to show, as President Barack Obama said at a memorial service, “You’ve shown us, Boston, that in the face of evil, Americans will lift up what’s good. In the face of cruelty, we will choose compassion. In the face of those who would visit death upon innocents, we will choose to save and to comfort and to heal.
“We’ll choose friendship. We’ll choose love.”