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Editorial: Who we are

Monday’s running of the Boston Marathon will long be etched in the public consciousness for all the wrong reasons — the bloody scenes of those injured by the bomb blasts near the race’s finish line, the selfless rush into the smoke of the explosions by bystanders intent on helping victims, the grim-faced surgeons talking of hours of surgery ...

The marathon, after all, has been a much-heralded April event where the world’s best runners flock to Boston to compete and take part in the festivities.

Before Monday, was it possible that the race could be a target for some kind of attack? Sure, we all knew that the possibility existed. That knowledge is part of the modern landscape, one where such attacks have taken place where there is a large gathering of people.

But the Boston Marathon?

Before Monday, it seemed unimaginable, impossible, something out of a bad action movie.

Not anymore.

But while we cannot forget what has taken place, nor let the victims of this heinous crime fade in memory, we should not, cannot, allow this act of terrorism create fear and uncertainty in our lives.

Rather, we need to reinforce the thought that this tragic act does not define who we are.

And if we need guidance or inspiration in this regard, we can turn to the events of this particular April day.

We should focus on those who responded quickly to the many injured. Some who did so, like the police and EMTs, are trained to do so in an emergency situation. Others, like spectators and even runners, stepped forward to help the dying, the wounded, the dazed. They helped get people to get medical attention, to find safety and use a cellphone so that they could contact family or friends to let someone know they were OK.

Add to this group, as President Barack Obama pointed out Tuesday, the runners and others who went to area hospitals to give blood.

We can find strength in the outpouring of support from around the nation and world who see this terrible act for what it is: an unjustifiable and cowardly crime.

And we need to show the world that justice will prevail in finding who, be it some twisted individual or a group, was involved and the motives behind the terrorism.

These are all of the pieces of preserving what is good about America and the openness of our society, where we can have such popular events like the Boston Marathon.

Those who lost their lives or were injured deserve no less.

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