A NY Times OpEd , copied here…
On Monday, the weather for the 117th running of the Boston Marathon was cloudy and a little chilly — just the way runners like it. Three hours after the winners had broken the tape, there were still many runners on the course, and hundreds of spectators on the sidewalk, when an explosion rocked the finish-line area on Boylston Street, across from the main viewing stand. For a brief second, the flags of scores of nations were bent downward by the blast.
A few marathoners were knocked over by the force of the explosion. Some runners, locked in their trance, kept going until they realized something horrific had just happened. When they turned back, they said they heard the screams and wails, saw the column of rising smoke, and then the blood and limbs of victims. There was broken glass and agony everywhere.
Fifteen seconds after the first one, there was another explosion a few blocks away. It was clear this was not a random event but another concerted effort to kill and maim innocent Americans, just because they had gathered in a vulnerable spot on a day when no one’s mind was on terror. The police confirmed that bombs were responsible for the mayhem; three more unexploded devices were found elsewhere around the city. At least three people died — one of whom was 8 years old — and dozens more were injured, some severely.
It could be a while before officials determine which malevolent ideology was behind this attack. President Obama vowed to track down the perpetrators and bring them to justice, praising Boston as a “tough and resilient town” that will take care of itself and will be taken care of by the country. “The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight,” he said.
The simple joy of a 26.2-mile run was shattered on Monday.* But the marathon will be back next year, no matter how much security is required, and the crowds should yell twice as loudly. No act of terrorism is strong enough to shatter a tradition that belongs to American history.
NYTimes Update: Law enforcement officials said Tuesday morning that there appeared to be no explosive devices around the city other than the two that exploded during the marathon.
*The finish area at a large, social run has some of the happiest energy to be found in this world. These runners expend so much energy, both in months of training and in the race itself. Their sweat seemingly dissolves all differences; the camaraderie and the chatter, while sipping cups of water and nibbling carbohydrates, is a fine example of authentic human communion. For a moment anyway, there is no capacity in the hearts of these spent yet content souls to bog down in the hostile social ‘backwardism’ so common in our present world.
…may God (or any benevolent force) help us all…