We are all citizens of Boston.
We stand with those who lost their lives. We stand with those who grieve. We stand with those who will never be the same.
When terrorists brought death and destruction to New York more than a decade ago, the rest of the nation—the rest of the civilized world—rallied to our side, mourned with us and, yes, joined us in our call for justice.
Today, we do the same for the people of Boston.
As this is being written, law enforcement officials remain unsure who planted those bombs on Boylston Street. There is no point in speculating. For the moment, blame and retribution must wait. This is the moment for solidarity and love. This is the moment when we put aside difference. This is the moment when our energy and thoughts are reserved for the dead, the dying, the wounded and those who mourn.
This is also a moment for renewal—a renewal of determination, a renewal of spirit and, perhaps most important, a renewal of awareness. In the years since 9/11, many New Yorkers seem to have forgotten that inconvenient security measures—from Times Square to JFK Airport—are put in place for a reason. Terrorists, at home and abroad, continue to plot against the city. And as we learned on April 15 in Boston, those plots can be relatively easy to execute.
Vigilance, then, is absolutely necessary. But vigilance requires patience, cooperation and determination. Griping about TSA agents or random bag searches or security checkpoints at large public gatherings ought to cease and desist. Those measures should be welcomed rather than resented.
New Yorkers were quick to shrug off the botched car bomb attack in Times Square in 2010. But as we watch video of the carnage in Boston, we ought to bear in mind what might have been in Times Square had it not been for the vigilance of two vendors, the quick actions of police officers and the incompetence of a would-be mass murderer.
They will try again, whoever they are and whatever their motive. They will try again, because they know only hate.
They are our enemies, and we must defeat them. But first, remember Boston.