What Boston’s Strength Has Shown Me

bostonAfter 9/11 and all the incidents in the ongoing “War on Terror,” if there’s one thing that makes me most proud, it’s the unwavering resolve on the behalf of the American public not to back down. This isn’t some jingoistic, cowboy hat-wearing Teapublican country song. This an observation of our nation, and the people who live in it.

Sure, we have our terrible politicians, media and the people who believe both. We have lunatics like Westboro Baptist Church and the radical religious right, but we also have good people who are trying every day to make this country a better place. I firmly believe that these people outnumber the crazies by a wide margin.

It’s easy to get fixated, to zoom the microscope in on all of the things that are wrong, and I know I have been guilty of the same thing. However, when you zoom out on the focus and look at it overall, we’re still far better off than a lot of the rest of the world. Of course there’s a ton of work to do and we shouldn’t lose sight of that, but when we’re attacked, we come together even if it’s only for a few days.

The purpose of a terrorist attack is to make a statement and to create chaos and division. Their intent is to turn people against each other, cause paranoia and stifle liberties. We have the world’s strongest military and spy programs, and we shouldn’t be afraid of everything that goes bump in the night. Cautious? Yes. Paranoid? No.

The brothers who went on their rampage of terror in Boston wanted us to be afraid, to cower in our homes and wonder when the next bomb was going to go off. Sure, the city was locked down for a few hours. But in the grand scheme of events, instead of hiding and crying, Boston residents stopped what they were doing and went after the bombers with a resolve we should be proud of. Once the coast was clear, life went on.

Whether it is Boston, New York or anywhere else, we’re a tough country even though we don’t always act like it. The way everyone from law enforcement, social media and the population of the Boston area worked together to find and track down the suspects is proof of what we can do when people stop squabbling to accomplish a greater goal.

In the coming days and weeks, politicians and special interests will ask us to be fearful again like we were after 9/11. They’ll tell us that we need more surveillance, more security cameras and fewer civil liberties.

I believe we should just say no. We’re better than that, and we do not let fear dictate our lives. We’re Americans, after all.


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