Act of Terrorism at Boston Marathon

April 17th, 2013

We all watched in horror as Patriot Day in Boston became the sight and sounds of the latest terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Like the horrific attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, the images and sounds of the Boston Marathon bombings will forever be embedded in our memories. Our hearts and thoughts will be with the victims of these attacks. The response by the local, state, and federal officials was swift, and we can only hope that bringing those responsible for this latest act of terrorism to justice moves just as swiftly.

After the Boston attacks occurred, a reporter wondered if this level of heightened concern about security would be the “New Normal”?  Will additional security at events like the Boston Marathon and other sporting events be something we should expect? My generation grew up during the Cold War era and by the time I entered elementary school, fallout shelters were a common sight. In fact, all of the students in my class were shown films on what to do during a nuclear attack. Evacuation drills were just as common as fire drills and we never gave them a second thought. I shudder at the thought that future generations will be routinely drilled and educated on how to survive a terrorist attack. The reality of it all is that the war on terror continues; the tragedy at the Boston Marathon serves as a reminder of this fact. Whether the attacks at the Boston Marathon were foreign or domestic, we all must continue to be vigilant.

This means that we must explain to our children that although this country has countless numbers of heroes, like the first responders and volunteers who rescued hundreds of people after the explosion at the Boston Marathon, we also have our share of foes that seek to harm innocent people in furtherance of an extremist ideology. So, is it the “New Normal” to educate the public on assisting in our efforts to combat terrorism and to be prepared to endure security screening before we enter a sporting event or participate in a marathon? Is the threat of terrorism the fallout shelter of today’s generation? Posters and signs that depict the words “see something, say something” are already prevalent; will they replace the fallout shelter symbols that were common sightings during the early years of the Cold War? 

We are a resilient nation and we will go through whatever steps necessary to end terrorist attacks and keep our citizens safe; however, we must continue these efforts and use our resources to defeat terrorism. In the war on terror, our federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies are tremendous assets, but our greatest security asset may be our citizens. Remember, if you see something or hear something, please say something. Your call may be all it takes to prevent another attack and help keep Americans safe.



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