The Times West Virginian

April 21, 2013

Police work at its finest brings relief after bombing

Times West Virginian

— We think our entire country breathed a gigantic sigh of relief Friday evening when the second of the two suspected terrorist bombers was captured while hiding in a boat in a family’s backyard in Watertown, Mass.

It’s almost impossible to believe that a 19-year-old college student, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was holding an entire city at bay throughout the day on Friday after he and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had started off the week of terror by allegedly detonating two homemade bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Unlike the horrible happenings of 9-11 back in 2001 when the world realized what was happening when two planes crashed into New York’s “Twin Towers” in the beginning of a tragedy that left almost 3,000 people dead, this saga began with the explosion of those two bombs at the Boston Marathon — an event that had focused on personal bests and the sense of accomplishment for thousands upon thousands of runners down through the years,

Authorities say that had these bombs been detonated inside a building rather than outside on the sidewalk, the loss of life might have been much, much greater. Four individuals, three at the marathon and a police officer later, were killed by the terrorists — one of whom was killed in a shootout Thursday night — many other people suffered crippling injuries and the loss of legs and arms from the pressure-cooker explosives that ripped through the large crowd at the finish line of the marathon — a race that is 26.2 miles in length.

The injury toll totaled more than 180 people.

As the Associated Press reported, the furious 24-hour drama that ended with one of the two men killed and the younger one captured “transfixed the nation and paralyzed the Boston area with fear.”

The tension and fear this highly tense episode created reminded many of the period a decade or so ago when two snipers were killing off people in the Washington, D.C., area — several of them shot while merely getting gas at a service station. The thought that several madmen were on the loose can do that to people. These two suspected terrorists, once their photos were released to the world. began to wreak vengeance on the entire city of Boston.

The FBI, the police of the Boston and Watertown area, and the many first responders at the marathon on Monday all did a magnificent job of working together to bring this 24-hour nightmare to a close. The people with U.S. flags waving in the streets of Watertown brought back memories of other patriotic moments in recent history when Americans had done themselves proud.

The relief was evident at Saturday’s Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Michael Spellman said he bought tickets to help send a message in the wake of the bombing.

“They’re not going to stop us from doing things we love to do,” he said, sitting a few rows behind home plate. “We’re not going to live in fear.”

Now the extremely busy work will begin — when the captured Chechen recovers from his wounds. There are so many questions that need answered.

But that will come later. Right now we wish to join in with the millions of Americans from around the nation that followed this drama to its successful conclusion and are saluting everyone involved in any way — from identifying the two men in ball caps from many, many videos and photos as being the wanted men and then pursuing them until one was killed and other captured. Police work at its finest was demonstrated here.