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Only If We're Terrified

by Ed Kowalski, published

The attack on the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15th was tragic and senseless, like all terror attacks, acts of deranged, misguided cowards.

Note to terrorists:  terrorism doesn’t work.  The U.S. isn’t leaving the Middle East for fear of you.  We’re not converting to Islam to placate deranged extremists who don’t speak for the Muslim world at large who wants like us to live in respectful harmony.

Americans have rallied to support the families of the victims of the marathon attack.  We rally to each other and our way of life.  If terrorism had a lesson to teach, it would be that democratic societies will fight for their freedom, hold their loved ones and beliefs closer, and we won’t lose.  It’s a lesson the terrorists should learn.  Maybe he or they chose Massachusetts’ Patriots’ Day intentionally.  If so, it was miscalculated.  Rightfully, the nation mourns, and rightfully, we unite and we’ll rebound.  Attacking the home of the patriots on Patriots Day didn’t crush anyone’s will.

The attack reminded us to love and be thankful for every day we live.  Chaos and fear make cold companions, another lesson the terrorists could learn.  We were reminded on September 11th.  We were reminded on April 15th.  I hope we’re never reminded again, but if we are, we’ll love harder and be ever more thankful for breath and toil and life.  Fallen heroes are never forgotten, though painfully missed, and they wouldn’t want us to live in fear or even anger for long.

Terror doesn’t work unless we’re terrified.  Americans were saddened by the attack in Boston, but then we became did become angry, resolute, thankful that we have a way of life that misguided monsters are so threatened by they try in their cowardly way to take it from us.

Terrorism might be new to our shores, but danger isn’t.  I moved out of New York after September 11, but I could have left over bad schools or crime as soon as terrorism.  I’m more worried day to day about getting hit by a bus than falling under a terrorist attack; the unorganized threats, the train driver drinking on the job, the mechanic who forgot to tighten a screw in my car, the deli clerk who sold spoiled meat, which leads me to the other organized threats: corporations poisoning watersheds, insurance companies denying cancer claims.  We have no shortage of fears if you want them.  Terrorists are just one.

Not to say I’m not relieved when I see a police presence, maybe less presence when I’m speeding, please.  The Boston police rose to the threat, the same police department that closed half the city several years ago because no one on the force watched Adult Swim*.  Obama is one for three against terrorists.  He got Osama, but no justice yet for the diplomats of the Libyan embassy, no justice for slain diplomat Anne Smedinghoff and her convoy.  He’s one for four if you count Boston, but it’s early, and the marathon attack shouldn’t be a political issue.

Simply put, life is dangerous, but what’s the alternative, and would you really take it if there was one?  Evil, in all forms, never stops, but neither does good.


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