Unspeakable Barbarism

In the Name of the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful Beloved Lord

This attack is personal. I was blessed to finish the 2010 Chicago Marathon in honor of my daughter, who had passed away the year before. It was one of the happiest moments of my entire life. Thus, whenever I see, or hear about, or read about any marathon, my heart leaps in joy. For, I know the pain of the grueling training; I know the pain of the grueling race; and I know the sheer elation of being able to finish the race and get that medal. When I saw the words "FINISH" along Columbus Avenue, I cried. I just couldn't help it.

One of the best things about the Chicago Marathon, or any marathon in fact, is the spectators. They make the race infinitely more enjoyable. Every one who runs a marathon has his or her own personal story: for me, it was to run for my daughter, who died from cancer and could never run again. Others run for cancer research, or for fallen police officers, or for world hunger.

And tens of thousands, if not millions, of people come out to watch and cheer on those runners, the overwhelming majority of whom are complete strangers to them. When I watched my first Chicago Marathon in 2009, this was one of the things that struck me the most: the spectators. That's why many runners write their names on their shirts: so that the spectators can cheer them on: "Keep running, John!" "Almost there, Kelly!" The spectators are truly something else.

That someone would want to intentionally harm them is...is truly unspeakable barbarism.

Theories abound about the motive behind such an evil attack. Yet, whether it is due to a twisted mutation of a great revealed religion; or deep-seated hatred for the government; or simply an evil and Satanic blood-lust, the result is the same: innocent life was senselessly taken. For that, I am truly heart-broken, and for that, I send out prayers for the city of Boston.

Yet, just as our President mentioned today, we respond to terror with kindness. As was mentioned by others previously, the runners and spectators ran toward the blasts, not away from them, so they can help their fellow citizens. That shows the magnanimity of not only marathoners and spectators, but Americans in general. We are infinitely better than the barbarism that showed itself as the Boston Marathon was winding down.

Although I have prayed for all of Boston, and the families of all the victims, I send out particular prayers for the family of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy who was among the three who were killed in the attack. I know all too well the horrific pain and torture of losing a child. And to lose one so senselessly, in such an horrific manner, makes it all the more difficult. God be with you, Richard family, as you cope with this terrible loss.

God be with us all, as we mourn this act of unspeakable barbarism.

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