All Americans breathed a little easier Friday evening when Boston law enforcement nabbed the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. It was the end of a hellish and violent week. Residents in the area showed great strength through it all, but some Americans spent the week declaring the downfall of our country and society. We believe they are wrong.
Itís understandable that terroristic events shake people. Thatís the intention of the terrorists. They want to instill fear and uncertainty. Their methods have been used since the beginning of mankind. Only in the last couple of decades have we witnessed foreign terrorism on our own soil, though. Almost everywhere else in the world has dealt with it.
If the truth be told, parents after 9-11 thought the world was falling apart. And parents during the Vietnam War, with the race riots and war protests, worried that our nation was ready to fall. The same goes for the parents of children during World War II. Nazism was enough to make any person wonder about the future of civilization.
And then there was World War I, and imagine having small children during the Civil War, or the American Revolution. Itís a good bet that just in our nationís short history almost every generation has worried about the world they brought their children into.
Too many people see the past through rose-colored lenses, thinking everything was warm and fuzzy back in the day. It wasnít. Not so long ago African Americans were discriminated against on levels that most of us cannot imagine these days. Women had little career opportunities outside of being a secretary, nurse or teacher. Poor people starved.
Violence has always been part of our existence. Itís a terrible part, but for whatever reason humans have a penchant for destroying others for what they covet, what they fear or for reasons we cannot understand. Thereís no way to rationalize such irrational acts.
Of course we worry about whatís coming next, and we should. Weíve known since 9-11 that this can happen and will likely happen again and again. The fact that these attacks are few and far between are a testament to resilience and determination of Americans to not back down from the difficult work of protecting our nation.
Itís difficult to feel positive after terrorism kills anyone anywhere, but fretting and wringing our hands over it does nothing. Standing tall in this brave new world where cultures collide is all we can do, and our childrenís futures can be just as bright or brighter than our own. Having them swim in a swamp of despair of everything that scares us, though, is no way to live.