The People’s World staff adds its condolences to the victims and their families of yesterday’s despicable bombings at the Boston Marathon. In the wake of the awful news, we tweeted, “Heartfelt thoughts to those athletes, fans, families, first responders and all in #boston” with #solidarity. It was during the festivities of the marathon and Massachusetts’ Patriots Day that the devastation occurred.
More than 170 people are injured with 17 in critical condition. Many lost their limbs in what Massachusetts General’s Dr. Alasdair Conn called, “traumatic amputations.” Three lost their lives, including an 8-year-old boy from Dorchester, Mass., Martin Richard. Reportedly, after his father, Bill, crossed the finish line, Martin ran to hug him. It was just after that embrace when the first bomb went off, killing Martin. His sister and mother were injured.
We condemn, in no uncertain terms, this and other such terrorist attacks. Whether the work of a group – of U.S. or other origin – or a deranged individual, no one yet knows. But that doesn’t stop some with racist and xenophobic agendas to pollute the airwaves with their conjecture. Such talk can only fuel more tragedy and violence.
The last leg of the marathon was dedicated to Newtown, Conn., and the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. That should give us pause. Bombings, shootings, drug war, hot wars, maybe the time has come to confront the culture, causes and cycle of violence!
The bravery of the first responders, whether public workers, runners, fans or race volunteers, in rushing toward those who were hurt and towards the explosion, smoke and chaos is to be saluted and recognized. Thank you for showing the best side of humanity amidst the worst. As the Communist Party said in its statement, “The spirit of cooperation and community in the face of violence is our greatest asset.” It’s through those actions and impulses that we can tackle the complexities of violence.
Lastly, we look to and celebrate the spirit of the marathon athletes. Tens of thousands train tenaciously for the opportunity to run in one of the world’s greatest races. Maybe because they love running, maybe to overcome a health crisis, maybe they have something to prove, like they can run 26.2 miles at, say, age 78; for whatever reason, those women and men – older and younger – first-timers or elite athletes who train for such a race, your toughness and resilience inspires all.
Photo: Medical responders run an injured man to an ambulance following explosions in Boston, April 15. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line. Charles Krupa/AP