As a nation our grief is immeasurable; our sadness, personal and collective. Lives lost, others in tatters.
Whether the Boston bombings were an act of international terrorism or the act of a home-based radical group makes no difference.
What we do know is that these individuals are cowards.
The choices that we have as individuals in how we respond to this tragedy can be as varied as the spokes of a bicycle wheel. There are choices that we can make that will make us stronger as individuals and as a nation. I choose to walk fearless; I choose to have compassion for the victims and give to their support; I choose to talk about the unity of all mankind; I choose not to blame a particular ethnic or religious entity; I choose that an act of cowardice will never determine who I am or become; I choose to believe in the goodness of man; I choose to believe that all humanity is one; I choose to forgive my brother; I choose to connect with those that I might have previously rejected; I choose love in the face of fear; I choose hope in the face of darkness; I choose to reject the assumption that further restrictions on The Bill of Rights and human rights is a valid response; I choose prayer in the face of despair.
I am not in any way minimizing what has happened. I lived in a terrorist ridden environment for three years--we were under threat on a daily basis--these were the choices that I made every day.
We are as safe as we can possibly be, there is no possible way to avoid tragedy--we make a daily assumption that we are safe so that we can function and conduct our lives. Most of the time our assumptions prove to be true.
Let us continue to make that assumption. We are safe and strong and a nation faced with many challenges. Let us grieve and give thanks for what we have been given. Let us become better participants in the governance of this country-- with our eyes wide open with strength and courage.