For a Moment the World is Smaller
Yesterday in Iraq there were explosions in Baghdad, Fallujah, Tikrit, Samarra, and Hilla. The BBC reports that 20 car and roadside bombs were employed. Thirty-one people were killed and over 200 injured. Such bombings are commonplace in Iraq and elsewhere.
A bit of Baghdad came to Boston yesterday.
It was Patriot’s Day when the famous opening skirmishes at Lexington and Concord signaled the beginning of the American Revolutionary War.
The British were preempting the colonists, out to relieve them of their powder and cannon. The initial fighting may have been “accidental” and the rest of it was confused but at least it was out in the open.
The timing and place of yesterday’s horror is deeply suspect and freighted with suggestions of liberty and revolution. If so, it is a bestial attempt to appropriate symbols of the birth of America.
Our pluralistic and democratic society is remarkably free from the concussions of violent anarchy. Still, we are prey to those who wish to de-stabilize society, be they from within or without.
Our diversity as a country is the best protection against those that would seek to destroy it. Allowing people the space to have and express a wide a variety of views and opinions is the bedrock of American Democracy.
If America is a bit like Baghdad this morning, we can for a moment understand their struggle but we can also commit ourselves to unifying around the primary principle that makes us a free and diverse land: mutual respect for others.