The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

April 23, 2014

Our View: A proud defiance

— We can’t all be marathon runners. But, we certainly can identify with the American spirit that propelled 32,000 runners to participate in Monday’s Boston Marathon.

We are proud that among those runners were a small number from our area who vowed they would return a year after a deadly bombing. The two pressure cooker bombs that went off near the end of the 26.2-mile course last year killed three and injured more than 260. It was a horrific attack on the United States by two brothers who allegedly carried out the attack in retaliation for U.S. wars in Muslim lands, according to The Associated Press. One of the brothers died in a shootout with police days after the bombings, and the other is awaiting trial.

Soon after the bombings, runners united to show their support and their resistance to fear. And many vowed they would return to Boston this year no matter what.

We admire local runners Scott Cichon, Pittsburg, Kan.; Nathan Sicher, Ken Schramm, Andrew Webb, Shaun Steele, Jenna Mutz and Ashleigh Beyersdorfer, all of Joplin; and Toby Teeter and Kathy Wrensch, both of Carl Junction, for racing not just for a medal or a time but to demonstrate that as Americans we will not cower in the shadows or hide in fear.

It is our defiance against evil and wrongdoing that continues to make us Americans. After all, defiance was at the very root of the formation of our country.

So, to those from our area who made the trip and ran the race to honor the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon, we say “thank you” for representing all of us in Boston.

We are proud of your defiance.

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