Editorial: New Yorkers stand with Boston
The Boston Marathon has forever been an event the nation watches and relishes -- a rite of spring -- and because of that, we all feel a personal sense of violation in what happened yesterday. As New Yorkers and as Americans, we're profoundly angry at the violence unleashed in Boston.
Beyond the death toll and beyond the list of injured, we also know what Boston stands to lose as a community as a result of the explosions. All civilizations are built on trust, and Boston might lose a little of its customary ease. These moments demand extraordinary courage and resolve, and there's no doubt the people of Boston and the nation will answer the call.
It wasn't clear yesterday who did this or what twisted statement they sought to make with such wanton disregard for human life. But with two devices exploding almost simultaneously within 50 to 100 yards of one another, and others that failed to detonate, it seems pretty clear this was a coordinated attack.
A somber President Barack Obama pledged yesterday that the people responsible will be found and brought to justice. That's imperative. Law enforcement and anti-terrorism officials have proved equal to the task many times in the past. They must again.
But that's not enough. With civilians targeted at such an iconic, high-profile event, international terrorism, of course, comes immediately to mind. If that's what this was, the more difficult job is to find the people who directed it and hold them accountable. If it proves instead to be the work of domestic terrorists, we have to figure out what in our culture today breeds such violence and how to stop it.
In New York after 9/11, we entered a new world of wariness -- with omnipresent police patrols, cameras, license-tag readers, bomb-sniffing dogs and metal detectors. Yet these tears in the civic fabric also bring us together in odd ways. We are all Bostonians, New Yorkers, Oklahoma City residents. As Americans we do what can for each other.
The task now is to make sure the unthinkable doesn't happen yet again.