Ten thoughts on the bombs in Boston — No. 1: ‘They picked on the wrong city’

Who is saying what in the wake of the Boston bombings

(Julio Cortez/AP Photo)


Who is saying what about the Boston bombings:

Jim Walsh, Cognoscenti

“Boston is not the biggest city in America; it is not the most politically powerful. But it has an inner determination and power that only the foolish ignore. Next year, at the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, I confidently predict there will be more runners and more supporters than ever before. The attackers, whoever they are must be incompetent. They picked on the wrong city.”

Andrew Cohen, the Atlantic

“No bombing can ever take away what Boston means to the men and women whose lives have been shaped by it over the generations. No tragedy can ever take away Patriots’ Day, or the marathon, or the city’s pride and relief in having made it to another spring. For now, for today, perhaps it is enough to merely remind our friends and family there in the Hub that we are with them, that we never really left no matter how far away we may be, and that we’ll be with them again next year, in sorrow and in joy.”

Patton Oswalt, Facebook

“Boston. F—ing horrible.  I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, ‘Well, I’ve had it with humanity.’ But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths. But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. …”

Boston Globe, editorial

“In targeting the Marathon, an attacker or group of attackers came face to face with the city’s resilient spirit. People around the world got to see it, as well. Such qualities and commitments as were on display on Boylston Street are immutable; in confronting the worst of human nature, Boston will, as it did on Monday, strive to live up to the best.”

New York Times, editorial

“The simple joy of a 26.2-mile run was shattered on Monday. But the marathon will be back next year, no matter how much security is required, and the crowds should yell twice as loudly. No act of terrorism is strong enough to shatter a tradition that belongs to American history.”

Daniel Burke, the Washington Post

“As much as marathoners talk of Boston as sacred ground, there’s also a sacred bond — both inside and outside of the Church of Running. It connects marathoners and the friends and family and strangers who might not understand the need to race 26.2 miles but nevertheless offer their time and support.

Monday’s bombing may have tested that bond, but it couldn’t destroy it. For as much as marathoning looks like a solitary journey, it’s a communal one. Like everything in life, you need plenty of people — and plenty of prayers — to reach the finish line.”

David Gergen, CNN

“Here in Boston, people will grieve for many days. How could anyone be so evil as to plant a bomb that would murder an 8-year-old child, rip the legs off parents and devastate a celebration of athletics that is pure joy. These were murders that wrench the soul.

“But if these cowards thought they would scare this city — that their acts of terror would actually terrorize — they picked the wrong place. Boston, as President Barack Obama so rightly said Monday night, is a ‘tough and resilient town’ — always has been and always will be. It will heal but will not forget; it will care for the wounded but will make the murderers pay their price.”

Alex Pareene, Salon

“… While we all have every reason to be incredibly pissed off at the asshole that killed at least one child and hurt so many more innocent people, it is our responsibility to that fine American city to help it get back, as soon as possible, to normal. Which is why as an American, and a resident of New York, I am most looking forward to when Boston returns to despising us and our stupid city and the goddamn overpaid, ancient Yankees, and we return the sentiment.”

Colin Daileda, The Atlantic

“Is there a town with more fight in it than the home of the Boston Red Sox, and is there a group of people with more will than a group of Boston Marathon qualifiers? I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that those robbed of their dreams this year will roar to life in 2014, that those who had their town taken from them for a day will leave an inerasable mark the next time, and that those who felt their sport was used to aid fear will make sure that, in 2014, each pair of shoes in the stampede will aim to trample terror.”

 Nicholas Thompson, the New Yorker

“There’s something particularly devastating about an attack on a marathon. It’s an epic event in which men and women appear almost superhuman. The winning men run for hours at a pace even normal fit people can only hold in a sprint. But it’s also so ordinary. It’s not held in a stadium or on a track. It’s held in the same streets everyone drives on and walks down. An attack on a marathon is, in some ways, more devastating than an attack on a stadium; you’re hitting something special but also something very quotidian.

“When we find out who did this, we may well find some fascination with the event—perhaps a foreign terrorist, or a sick American. Perhaps it was someone who spotted a terribly easy target. Or perhaps it was someone who saw a reflection of the human spirit and decided just to try to shatter it.”




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