A lot has already been said, and a lot more will be said to come. There is a lot of hurt, a lot of misconception and a lot of anger. Not to mention the endless flow of conclusion-jumping, right or wrong.
My feelings are this.
Those boys messed up. Big time.
They thought they could terrorize Boston and by extension, America. But they misunderstood. They didn't strike fear, they poked the bear.
Boston's not scared. Boston's pissed off. This is a city which has grimly but quietly mourned their own losses from the attacks on the World Trade Centre. They never forgot that the flights originated from Logan. They never forgot their citizens on board those planes. Heck, this city hasn't released their hold on the pride they feel for being the birthplace of the American Revolution - you think they're going to let go of anything?
And to attack on Marathon Monday. Here's one thing I know about runners, and especially Marathon runners. They are a breed apart. If there's anything marathoners are good at, it's endurance. They run through weather, injury, pain... These are not people who give up easily. So much so that their own determination isn't enough, they often choose to be determined on behalf of other people. Other causes. The attacks took place when the Mere Mortals of Marathoning (albeit Boston Qualifying Mortals, another breed apart) were finishing. The weekend warriors. The people who run "on behalf". These are not people who break easily.
To place the bombs in the Stands... even more cowardly. They killed two women. A Child. Supporters. These are people who come out for various reasons. To cheer on a family member or a friend who they have watched work so very hard to make it to this moment. To be inspired by the triumph of strangers. To be a community celebrating a common goal. These are not victims. These are people who have proven that they are part of something bigger than themselves. To have no direct personal stake, but to stand out and watch people accomplish something and say "I support you", or to help the runners find the crucial strength to take those final few steps to cross the finish line. Community.
And not even just an American community. A global community. This is bigger than just "America". It is Us. And We are not scared.
Runners around the world are out this week, "Running for Boston". Races will go on this weekend, and despite what Tom Ridge opined on Andrea Mitchell this morning, that there may be "fewer runners", my guess is that there will actually be MORE.
No, I think these young men gravely underestimated their target. They misunderstood the impact of their attack. Those explosions backfired on them.
I stand with you, Boston.