One moment in time passes and, just like that, we’re reminded again how unsafe the world can be, even here in the United States.
One of the premier athletic events in America is the annual running of the Boston Marathon, an event that attracts runners from all over the world. In Albany, our own Snickers Marathon is a qualifier for the event, which the equivalent of the Super Bowl for the running world.
On Monday, the marathon became a casualty of the evil know as terrorism.
Two blasts occurred at the finish line as runners were crossing it, a time when crowds pack the area to see the runners finish the race. Reports Monday afternoon said that at least two people were killed and at least another 50 people injured by the twin explosions, though Boston authorities said late Monday afternoon that they did not have an exact number. A subsequent third explosion three miles from the finish line at the John F. Kennedy Library was believed to be connected to the first two.
At this writing, no person or organization had laid claim to this murderous attack, one that reminds us of the 1996 bombing at the Olympic Games in Atlanta that claimed the life of Alice Hawthorne, of Albany. Fortunately, the preliminary reports we received Monday afternoon indicated that runners from Albany and our region who participated escaped injury. We hope that is the case.
The early reports made it clear that these explosions were deliberate, caused by bombs. Just what types of explosives and the menace behind them, whether foreign or domestic, were unknown.
But what is known is that someone or some people set out to kill as many folks as they could. Given the crowd and location, it’s a wonder that more people were not killed or injured by this evil act.
Authorities Monday evening were at the start of their investigation while emergency personnel tended to the injured. We wish the investigators Godspeed in tracking down the cold-blooded killers and bringing them to justice. Certainly we want that justice to be swift, but more importantly, we want it to be certain in ascertaining who the culprits are.
We have learned a number of times, especially with the deadly Sept. 11, 2001 attacks by al-Qaeda and the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building by Timothy McVeigh, that some individuals harbor an evil inside them that is so twisted that they can rationalize these deadly acts of terror.
We, as a nation, cannot afford to not be vigilant of the dangers that, we have learned, can arrive at our doorstep on any day. And when it arrives, we must act decisively.
These latest murderers who have taken lives and shattered others must be brought to justice. Massachusetts does not have a death penalty, but if ever a criminal act called out for one, this is it. Those who would kill and maim innocents for whatever reason, whether it is political, religious or social, should be required to pay the ultimate price for the evil they have wrought.