I’m just a small voice from a small corner of a rural part of this big nation. I have no delusions that my opinion carries much impact or will be noticed by more than a handful of people. But a part of me hopes that somehow this message will reach the eyes of the person or people who planted those bombs yesterday.
You may believe you are carrying out some grand scheme designed to cripple my country, but you are simply a coward. You may believe that we will fall to our knees and quiver before your cause, but we won’t. I don’t care who you are or what purpose you had for this attack on unarmed civilians. Your plan has already failed. Sure, you may have taken lives and bloodied bodies, and we will mourn for those who died and cry with those who lost arms and legs, but we will not cower before you. Your plan failed because you don’t understand the human spirit, the American spirit, and certainly not the Boston spirit. You will be surprised by our response.
Since you don’t seem to grasp our spirit, let me explain it to you as best I can. In this nation, despite our fractured politics and very real problems we now face, we are a people bound by a sense of optimism. Nearly everyone who came to these lands did so to escape some form of tyranny, and we still carry the imprint left behind by our parents and grandparents and great-grandparents that America symbolizes something important. Our forerunners often faced situations far more dire and sinister than anything we face today, and if they can overcome the darkness they endured to reach this country and build better lives for their children, we can overcome the darkness of today. Their spirit lingers in us, whispers to us in our times of need, reminds us that liberty matters.
Sure, we quibble and disagree with each other, sometimes to an obnoxious level. Sure, we often appear disjointed and chaotic, but one thing I know about my country is that in our darkest moments, we pull together. It’s happened so many times I won’t bother recounting them to you, but yesterday is as good an example as any. Despite the fear, despite the chaos, despite the uncertainty, people helped each other. People, some first responders, others civilians, helped the wounded, carrying them to ambulances and getting them to safety. Many rushed to the hospitals to donate blood. That is America, and you will not change us.
America is not a land of laws, despite the beauty and precision of our Constitution. It’s the spirit behind that Constitution that makes us who we are. We are not a land of blind allegiance to one person or one way, no matter how our politics looks sometimes. In America, we are a people of courage, love, and compassion because nearly all of us are just a generation or two removed from famine, persecution, and tyranny. In our hearts we know, you might break our bodies but you will never break that spirit because it is the natural wellspring of humanity, the desire to live free. Whoever you are and whatever your plan, you will never extinguish that desire. Your cowardice will be rooted out, exposed to the world, and punished accordingly. Your failed ideology will wilt under the shining beacon of liberty that illuminates the souls of my fellow citizens. We will not quiver before cowards. We will stand tall, bind together, and build a better future for ourselves. We will do so because this country symbolizes something more than you will ever comprehend and because we are a stronger people than you will ever understand. We are the sons and daughters of freedom.