Editor’s note: The Globe’s sister paper, The Eagle-Tribune, in North Andover, Mass., responded to the Boston Marathon bombing with this editorial.
The Boston Marathon is a celebration of human spirit — of the athletic grace God grants to some, of the sheer determination He gives to others.
No terrorist’s bombs can extinguish that flame.
Monday’s horrible attack against the runners and spectators viewing the Boston Marathon was an act of terrorism. Whether the perpetrators of this cowardly act turn out to be motivated by politics or religion, whether they were foreign or domestic matters little. Even if the bomber turns out to be a lone psychopath, the goal was the same: to take a day of joyous celebration and turn it into a scene of carnage, fear and death.
Two bombs exploded just before 3 p.m. near the marathon’s finish line on Boylston Street. The first blew up amid a crowd of spectators watching runners finish the 26.2-mile race about four hours and nine minutes after it began; the other exploded seconds later about 100 yards away. The two bombs that ripped through the crowds at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding more than 170, were fashioned out of pressure cookers and packed with shards of metal, nails and ball bearings.
At Massachusetts General Hospital, Alisdair Conn, chief of emergency services, told The Associated Press: “This is something I’ve never seen in my 25 years here ... this amount of carnage in the civilian population. This is what we expect from war.”
There is no cause, no political position, no gripe or grievance that justifies such attacks on innocent people. We know state and federal authorities will pursue whoever committed this outrageous assault on decency and civilized society. We encourage them to be relentless.
When those responsible are found, justice should be swift and meted out not only to the individuals directly responsible, but also to any who provided encouragement or support for the attack.
The marathon bomber may have achieved his immediate goal of killing and injuring innocent people and gaining national attention. But whatever long-term ambition he may harbor will surely be foiled.
The American people do not bow before terrorists. Nor will the human spirit embodied in the Boston Marathon be cowed.
The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.