The Lima News
Events like the Boston Marathon are supposed to celebrate everything that is right. It’s about personal achievement, setting goals, perseverance and fulfilling dreams.
It’s a place where sportsmanship is on constant display and important milestones are reached, such as that of 2003 Van Wert High School graduate Craig Leon, who finished 10th out of 26,000 runners and third among all American runners.
Someone evil tried to take that away Monday afternoon.
In a span of 10 seconds, two fiery blasts sent grim reminders of 9-11 and New York City as dense plumes of smoke rose over the street, blood stained the pavement, and windows were blown out of buildings.
Once again, freedom itself was attacked by faceless cowards.
Once again, a U.S. president, this time Barack Obama, vowed those responsible will “feel the full weight of justice.”
Once again, an attack on innocent people left America in mourning.
Who would do such a thing? The list of possible fanatics is spread across the seas and throughout the heartland of this great nation. The act of aggression comes at a time when a new Middle East footprint is being forged by extremists and Americans at home are embroiled in an impassioned debate over gun control,
By all indications, it appeared to be a well-coordinated attack done by perpetrators who chose a uniquely vulnerable target on a symbolic day — Patriots Day — which commemorates the first battles of the American Revolution in 1775.
There are typically up to half a million spectators from all corners of the United States. Among them were high-profile people, such as the parents of children from Newtown, who stood along the last mile, dedicated to the 20 children and six adults who were killed by another maniac. Other well-wishers came from communities like those in the Lima region, which saw dozens of runners qualify for the big show.
The attack appeared well-timed, occurring about four hours into the race. At that point, the finish line was at one of its most crowded points because of the slower recreational runners completing the race and because of all their friends and relatives who were clustered around to cheer them on.
The nature of the event makes it especially susceptible to such an attack. Race organizers and public-safety professionals can only do so much, given no tickets are needed for spectators and there are few if any inspections or checkpoints, except in official areas.
Fortunately, more carnage was avoided when two other bombs were found. The scene already was beyond horrific.
“They just started bringing people in with no limbs,” said runner Tim Davey, of Richmond, Va. He said he and his wife, Lisa, tried to keep their children’s eyes shielded from the gruesome scene inside a medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners, but “they saw a lot.”
Americans are understandably angry today.
Rest assured, though. Carefully and meticulously, authorities will work on tracking down leads and examining evidence until justice does prevail.
Timothy McVeigh. Saddam Hussein. Osama bin Laden.
All caught. All punished. All cowards.