MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

April 16, 2013

We are defined by our response


— We may be a long way from finding out exactly what led to the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday.

The search continues for suspects and their twisted motivation for killing and injuring innocent people.

There is little doubt this was an act of terrorism.

It may not have the same motive as other terror attacks acts on our country.

Even if the motive was pure revenge for some real or imagined slight against the perpetrators, the act itself was carried out in such as way as to try to scare us.

The perpetrators want us to look over our shoulders every day — to live in terror.

How we live our lives from here either will be a testament to our fear or can be monument to our courage.

There were many examples of our courage on Monday.

If you’ve watched the video, you can spot the reaction of first-responders. They move toward the chaos. Their instinct is to help.

There are reports that many runners, after finishing the race, went to the nearest hospital to give blood.

We are no doubt a nation that can be easily divided.

Rich or poor. Majority or minority. Male or female. Democrat or Republican. This team or that team.

Too many times we divide ourselves seeking some form of acceptance or to make ourselves feel better than the person next to us.

However, Americans always have been at our best when we are tested.

Many times we give of ourselves to help others.

We reach out to help in disasters around the world.

Much of the rest of the world has come to rely on the United States to right the wrongs around the globe.

That’s because the rest of the world knows we are both strong and compassionate.

The Boston Marathon bombings were tragic.

But it also was a heinous, criminal act of cowardice.

If it was designed for revenge, the perpetrators can rest assured our nation will seek justice.

If it was an act of terror, we will unite.

All U.S. citizens, regardless of our lot in life, are united by the fact that we live in the greatest country on earth.

Let’s respond like it.