, Port Arthur, Texas


April 16, 2013

Editorial: Standing strong against terrorism

PORT ARTHUR — Southeast Texans join the rest of the nation in mourning for the three victims killed in the senseless bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday. We are horrified at the injuries that maimed more than 170 people participating in a joyous occasion. The deliberate use of nails and ball bearings as shrapnel to  inflict as much damage as possible and the careful placing of the bombs so they would inflict maximum injury on whomever may be near — children, mothers, the elderly, indiscriminate targets — is an act of evil.

The entire nation is grieving for 8-year-old Martin Richard, who had just rushed back full of the excitement of greeting his dad at the finish line of the famed Boston Marathon when the deadly bomb detonated.

Krystle Marie Campbell, 29, was waiting for a friend near the finish line of the race when the bomb went off. Her heartbroken dad said” she was the daughter every father dreamed of having.” Her mom broke down at a press conference, saying “She loved her dog. She was funny. She was the best daughter you could ask for. It doesn’t make sense.”

The third victim had not been identified late Tuesday other than the confirmation that the person was a graduate student at Boston University. “The student was one of three friends who watched the race near the finish line,” the university said in a statement on its Web site.

The mother of Krystle Cambell was right when she said it doesn’t make sense. The targeting of innocent civilians with bombs is an act of terrorism, whether it is carried out by foreign jihadists or home-grown extremists. President Obama said we will get to the bottom of who carried out the cowardly attack, and that any responsible individual or group will feel the full weight of justice. The American people will accept nothing less.

The medical professionals, police and other first responders on the scene as well as many bystanders sprang into action as soon as the smoke cleared — despite the possibility of more attacks — to help the people wounded by the bombs. These people define what it is to be a good American and we are proud to note how helping others in a crisis was more important to them than their own safety.

We also applaud the people of Boston for the grit and determination they exhibited after the blast of the bomb echoed through their streets. In interview after interview Bostonians said they would not change their lives, they would not be cowed by terrorists. That, many of them said, would mean the terrorists had won.

Now is the time for the investigators to carry out their important work. For this heinous act nothing less than the truth will be an acceptable answer to the question of who did it. Now is the time for methodical, careful police work. We all want an answer quickly, but we want the right answer even more. Patience in allowing the professionals to do their work of investigating will be needed as the days go by.

We take inspiration from the Bostonians and others who were at the race and have refused to bow to terrorism. When next year comes and the thousands of runners once again take their positions on the starting line in Boston — and they will — those who hid to hurt will know that their act accomplished nothing.

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