So, I had two thoughts as I woke up this morning, about yesterday’s tragedy. First, whoever did this wanted to influence our behavior. They wanted us to do something, or more likely, to stop doing something. Stop using drones, or stop levying taxes, or stop allowing gays to marry, or stop keeping American troops anywhere in the Caliphate. Whatever it is that they wanted us to stop doing, we’re now likely to resolve to do even more. That’s how these things work. Because nothing unifies a people like bombing their children and families.
My second thought was, that although I’m sure we’ll try, the Boston Marathon course cannot be secured. You cannot secure 26.2 miles of territory that people can just wander up to. The Boston marathon is special in part because of the enormous crowd support. In a good year, more than a million people line the course. When we lived in Auburndale, and the race started at noon, we used to watch it by the Newton fire station, where the course turns from Route 16 onto Commonwealth Avenue and the hills of Newton. We knew that the elite runners came through by about 1:20, so we’d get there by about 1:10. We could just walk from our house. This is not a course that can be secured. Yes, they might be able to secure the finish line, but they cant’ secure all of Route 16 or Commonwealth Avenue. For those of us who like to watch the Marathon, we now know that if some sociopath wants to blow us up while we’re watching, there isn’t much we can do about it.
The Marathon is a beautiful thing. If you’ve never seen one, or especially never seen Boston’s, you’re missing a beautiful thing. It’s awe inspiring to see the elite runners come through and realize that they’re running at this pace for 26.2 miles. And then it’s mesmerizing to watch the thousands and thousands of runners who come after them. It’s still a beautiful thing today, but now a little less beautiful because of what happened yesterday.