We have been warned hundreds of times since the days following Sept. 11, 2001, that another terrorist attack in the United States was not only likely, but inevitable.
It has happened again.
Monday, on what is quite possibly the most festive day of the year in Boston-Patriots Day-two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Three people-including an 8-year-old boy-were killed, and more than 170, some critically, were injured.
The bombs, which detonated just seconds apart, exploded at approximately the four-hour mark of the annual race, a time when race officials say the finish line area is the most crowed, both with a high number of amateur racers and family members who are there to watch them finish.
The bombs contained nails and other material designed to cause the most damage possible. While not to minimize the loss, it is a miracle that only three people were initially killed.
While some may wonder how this could happen with all the security measures that are in place today, we again point to what those experts said after Sept. 11, 2001: It is nearly impossible to stop someone who is intent on doing something like this. Indeed, it is to the credit of law enforcement agencies that they have prevented several potential attacks in the 12 preceding years.
As with the Sept. 11 tragedy, the people outside Boston hearing about the tragedy and turning to their televisions initially saw a scene that looked like mass confusion, with people running in all directions and smoke billowing in the background.
It may have been confusing. However, a closer examination also shows the compassion and courage many people have during a tragedy. As on Sept. 11, 2001, many overcame their fears and immediately raced toward the mayhem to help those injured. This quick response as well as the hospital tents on hand for the race, possibly kept the number of fatalities down.
This was a cowardly act, carried out by cowards. We are confident that, eventually, those responsible will be captured. While no punishment can begin to give the victims and their families back what was taken from them, we hope these cowards will be dealt with quickly and harshly.
If those responsible are still alive at this time next year, maybe should be chained in front of a television and forced to watch the Boston Marathon. While we are sure security will be tight, we also are sure the streets will once again be filled with happy people living their lives and not letting cowards dictate how those lives are led.