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TMCNet:  The News Herald, Panama City, Fla., Pat McCann column

[April 21, 2013]

The News Herald, Panama City, Fla., Pat McCann column

Apr 21, 2013 (The News Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Before we divert our attention elsewhere, and make no mistake it will be diverted in the coming weeks or sooner, there is a need, albeit a duty, to look back on the past few days and seek perspective.


Among the cruel ironies on Monday, there were some runners competing in Boston on behalf of the 26 killed, many of them children, a few months ago in Newtown, Conn.

Included in the dead of this latest senseless act of violence was one young enough to be their classmate.

As we watched motionless at the videotape of what unfolded, it became immediately clear that there could have been many more deaths. That if not for the selfless response of medical personnel, law enforcement, military and some of the volunteers, others would have perished.

We all will take what we want from tragedy, but at least one from afar chooses to focus on those who put themselves in harm's way to help fellow human beings in dire circumstances. That instead placing a value on their own safety, and who knew at the time the scope of the bombing, they confronted the chaos in heroic fashion.

As did a hospital that immediately put on hold all elective surgeries and in effect became the largest, most effective M.A.S.H. unit in history.

There is a need to hold on to that immediate response, rather than some of the twits who couldn't wait to flood the social universe to promote their agendas and ideologies without a shred of evidence other than their misplaced passion, when compassion would have been better served.

They are left to their own devices, as well the media, who in our haste to feed the public's insatiable thirst for immediacy sometimes become addicted to being first with the details, regardless if all of them indeed are accurate.

Bostonwill get over this somber moment in history. It is a city with broad shoulders, and a chip on each of them. So, too, must the survivors and their families, as well as those who lost loved ones, find some solace, something to galvanize their grief into a tangible that either can be confronted or embraced.

One lasting reverberation from Boston perhaps was felt, of all places, in Yankee Stadium. On Tuesday night the hated rivals of the Red Sox in the AL East posted this on their scoreboard: New York stands with Boston ... pray for Boston.

Some fans wore Red Sox caps and jerseys. The American League is one thing; the American way of life quite another.

So we move on until the next time a fanatic or terrorist faction disrupts our daily routines and celebrations. We know that it will happen again, as the alternative to a free society will never become part of the equation.

And this final encore to the first-responders in Boston, who displaced a vendetta with uncommon valor. As well as to the authorities who toiled without pause to apprehend those responsible and provide some form of closure, as well as preventing an interminable void too often filled by speculation and demagoguery.

A haste for justice always prevails, but it is tempered by the wish that it be measured precisely and deliberately. That also defines us as a culture.

In all regards, the folks in and around Boston have done a pretty good job thus far.

This was their moment to look the beast in the eye.

They made us proud.

___ (c)2013 The News Herald (Panama City, Fla.) Visit The News Herald (Panama City, Fla.) at www.newsherald.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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