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Monday, May 25, 2020
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Some Thoughts on the Boston Bombing


We all feel a certain sadness and shock regarding the cowardly attack on innocent participants and observers of the Boston Marathon.

Now we are immersed in photo images and endless reports of the tragedy of death, amputations and other physical injuries.

Terrorism is what news sources call it, and terror is what we struggle with as we seek to make some sense of senseless carnage.

Our state representative, Brad Montell concluded that the bombing is “Irrational, inhumane; it just makes no sense”.

Former Commonwealth Attorney for Shelby County Ted Igleheardt noted that, “Horror at people planning to kill innocent people is not possible to comprehend. Intentional malicious homicide is called terrorism for a reason.”

Yet, as horrifying as the Boston bombing is, the reality is that the odds of any one of us being a victim of terrorism is very low compared with other causes of death. In fact, according to the State Department in Washington, D.C., in 2007, only 19 non-combat Americans were killed throughout the world as a result of terrorism.

In comparison, according to the Centers for Disease Control, in an average year in the U.S., 112 thousand people die of obesity related illness, 652 thousand die from heart disease and 559 thousand succumb to some form of cancer including 276 thousand men and 142 thousand women who die from lung cancer alone.

We are actually at far greater risk from the fast food we eat than from a terrorist bombing in our community. Yet we continue to patronize fast food enterprises.

We now are entering the Derby Festival season. We will have large crowds at Churchill Downs, along Broadway and on the riverfront. Extra security will be present I am sure.

Yet, even with enhanced security, we may find ourselves feeling  uncomfortable, helpless and afraid, because it is impossible to understand the minds of those sick people who call themselves terrorists.

Nevertheless, we cannot allow terrorism to take away our freedom to gather together and celebrate as a community. The moment we do that is the moment the terrorists win.

Meantime, remember that even in the midst of all the horrible pictures we will continue to see from the Boston bombing, we can find good.

Never forget that when everyone else was running away, police officers, firemen, emergency technicians, soldiers and bystanders were running TOWARD the danger.

Duty, courage and service in the face of danger will ALWAYS trump the most unspeakable acts of evil doers.

Always look for the heroes.  It's the American way.