Is Boston’s finest hour over? All our neighbors who lost life and limb, those who dug deep into themselves and performed heroically without a second thought, those who courageously kept a community safe--has the honor of those moments come down to this: a shabby anti-tug-of-war over the body of the dead bomber? You take him--no, you take him. As if the ground isn’t big enough--hasn’t always been big enough--to hold both saints and sinners.
Does it take one bit of honor away from the injured, the first responders, the newly dead to find within ourselves the common decency to allocate a scrap of land in which to lay this body? Does burying him condone in the slightest way his despicable actions? Is this puny villain the worst history has ever produced that there should be no earth that could receive him? Doesn’t the earth cover equally those whose memories are blessed and those who are reviled?
Is the gentleness, the kindness we had for one another three weeks ago now doomed to be replaced by free-floating hostility and suspicion. Does this cruelty do anything to help anyone heal? Is it going to help our city? If hatred and meanness become the legacy of our experience, all the flowers and the teddy bears left and the tears shed at Copley Square will mock us.
Boston, I am sad to say you are looking a little less strong.