Americans will not live in fear. Yet we will live cautiously and ever vigilant knowing that America has enemies, both home and abroad, who are only too willing to do us harm.
There's no going back to quieter times. This is the 21st century and bad things are bound to happen; however, it's not going to stop America from being the great model of hope, peace and prosperity to the rest of the world.
Yes, our hearts are broken once again and we grieve for victims — our own — once again.
Yet we will mend, just like we've done before, and we'll become stronger because of it and more unified and determined to bring the murderers of innocents to justice.
America's resolve to do right — and to live free — can't be diminished.
The horror of Monday's Boston Marathon, on Patriots Day, joins a growing list of terror, tragedy and tears for a nation still trying to identify the bodies of more than 70 percent of the 3,000 people killed in the World Trade Center attack of Sept. 11, 2001.
We're still trying to understand why it happened.
Now we add three more Boston dead to the mounting and senseless toll.
Boston hospital officials say there may be more: 20 victims are in intensive care or on a critical list, among 170 people injured in the two explosions at the crowded Boston Marathon finish line.
What did the people of Massachusetts — and the tens of thousands of marathon participants and spectators — do to deserve this attack, on a day when we celebrate the exercise of our forefathers' fight for freedom and liberty from tyranny?
God knows we did nothing to deserve this day of madness. It happened nonetheless.
It's hard to rationalize the tortured mind of evil that planned and perpetrated the heinous attack. They picked a great place and a great event to make a statement, placing bombs near the finish line where cheering spectators were packed 12 deep on the Boylston Street sidewalk.
Did the cowards delight in the carnage of lives and limbs lost at the moment of detonation? Did they smack their lips in satisfaction at the chaos, the crying, the despair that followed from hysterical loved ones?
Does evil hope to achieve more evil? Is that what this was about? If so, they failed.
The world saw many heroic images yesterday in Boston as police, emergency personnel, volunteers and bystanders ran toward the blast scene to help victims. Few, if any, shied away from the danger of more explosions. Doctors and nurses from area hospitals responded in minutes. The courage and resiliency of untold individuals surfaced on instinct.
We go forward today knowing the future of America has been changing since 9/11 whether we like it or not. The unimaginable is upon us yet we can't let it destroy what we hold dear. America's indomitable spirit has but one choice and that is to meet the challenge and triumph. Let us pledge together to bring back next year's Boston Marathon in its 26 miles of free and fearless glory.