The reaction of Boston and all of Massachusetts to the marathon bombings has been classy, stalwart and personified by the phrase "Boston Strong." The demoralizing exception this week was the controversy -- Gov. Deval Patrick accurately referred to it Thursday as a "circus" -- about what to do with the body of accused bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed during a Watertown shootout with police. He has been buried in a private cemetery in Virginia, according to the Boston Globe, ending a saga that grew more embarrassing by the day.
Mr. Tsarnaev's body was prepared for burial according to Muslim tradition by a funeral home in Worcester and remained there for more than a week following the refusal of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Cambridge officials to allow the body to be buried in their communities and the failure of any other communities to step up. It is never good news when pseudo-patriots wrapped in American flags turn up, and when these showboats started gathering outside the funeral home waving signs and placards and behaving in a menacing manner, the Worcester police had to respond by guarding the home around the clock at a cost of thousands of dollars to the financially strapped city.
Frenzied mobs in some foreign countries have been known to drag bodies through streets and hang them from telephone poles, and while we will never know the intent of the Worcester mob, the ugliness surrounding the fate of the body of the Chechen bombing suspect may have been unprecedented in the United States. Newtown killer Adam Lanza was buried without incident and Lee Harvey Oswald has been interred in a Fort Worth cemetery for a half century with little notice. Mr. Tsarnaev, while a naturalized citizen, was a foreign-born Muslim, and that seems to have brought out a nasty strain of jingoism not seen in the United States since the early stages of the Iraq War. It was a disturbing thing to see in a state that should know better.