Bombs can’t defeat our ideals

Once again, a cowardly and heinous act of terrorism has maimed and killed innocent Americans gathered to celebrate a time-honored tradition — the running of the Boston Marathon.

The images of bloodied bystanders near the finish line where two bomb explosions turned moments of joy and camaraderie into fear, pain and confusion are forever etched in our memory.

But along with the images of death and destruction are those of brave citizens coming to the aid of strangers, first responders rushing to the scene to perform triage on victims, not knowing if another bomb is about to explode. Lives were saved due to the selfless acts of many.

The lives of many of the wounded will never be the same. As they begin the slow and painful process of healing, they need to know that the American people stand by them, resolute in their determination not to let terrorism define who we are and how we live our lives.

To live in fear is not an option. As a community, as a society, the search for peace, justice and equality must continue, even in these dark and dreadful moments. All that is good in the world cannot be overshadowed by the evil.

The war on terror is never-ending. It is a frustrating battle fought on many fronts and in many lands. The victories are often fleeting and the setbacks are many. But again, terrorism only succeeds when it breaks the ties that bind people together in common spirit and common purpose.

Once again, terrorism has reared its ugly head on American soil. But the perpetrators will be brought to justice and the resiliency and strength of a democratic people will prevail.

George Takei of “Star Trek” fame reminds us that, according to legend, modern-day marathons are patterned after an epic run by a Greek messenger who let the leaders of the world’s first democracy know that its enemies had been defeated.

Did the terrorists in Boston intentionally take aim at the ideals we as a modern society stand for, ideals such as healthy competition, the triumph of the mind and body and strong community spirit? Maybe that’s giving them too much credit. Regardless, the ideals embodied in the marathon still stand strong.