SO we are now joined, Oklahoma City and Boston, although we're worlds apart politically and 1,500 miles apart physically.
We are two cities that have endured terrorist attacks on what people in Massachusetts know as “Patriots' Day,” which is actually April 19 but is now commemorated on the third Monday of April.
A mass murderer who fancied himself as a patriot used April 19 to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, in 1995. He killed 168 people and unleashed fear across the fruited plains but also unleashed what came to be known as “The Oklahoma Standard,” an exemplar of caring, compassion and resilience.
What we learned from this experience was shared when terrorists of a different kind took down the World Trade Center and bored a hole in the Pentagon, in 2001. Doubtless, we will counsel officials in Boston on how to recover from a devastating terrorist attack and how to memorialize the victims.
The vast difference in the death toll between the two attacks is irrelevant. For the survivors of those killed, the toll is far less meaningful than the loss of a single loved one. The 9/11 death toll eclipsed Oklahoma City, but this did not diminish the grief of survivors here or the commitment to see to their needs.
Another link between Boston and Oklahoma City is the running of a marathon in April. Ours was inspired by the bombing. As of Tuesday, officials in charge of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon planned to let the race go on.
It should go on because life goes on. Any surrender to fear is a victory for the terrorists. Yet it's naive to assume that Boston won't bring changes in how events are kept safe or won't discourage participation by some people.
We must all choose the course we run in the coming days. We must renew our respect and appreciation for those who brave hazards to minister to the maimed and bring out the dead. We must also accept the fact that the fight against terrorism isn't a sprint. It's a marathon.
We're in this for the long run. We cannot stop before the race is done.