It is too early to say much about today’s terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon, but one thing struck me when I watched this video, which Steve posted earlier today, as well as other videos and photos of the aftermath of the explosions:
The response to the bombs by the crowd at the finish line was, I think, exemplary. Sure, many people fled from the explosions, and reasonably so. But a remarkable number ran, as they say, to the sound of the guns, even though when two bombs go off, one might well expect more. Many of these were professionals. The finish line of a marathon is a fortuitous spot to bomb, in that doctors, policemen, ambulances and so on are stationed there. Some soldiers happened to be on hand. But others were not professionals. Many just helped out, bravely, wherever they could.
News reports indicate that a number of runners crossed the finish line and kept on running to the nearest hospital, to give blood. There was remarkably little panic; instead, a well-organized rescue effort. So far only three people have been confirmed dead, one of them an eight-year-old child. Probably that number will rise. But the prompt and effective reaction by so many, amateurs as well as trained professionals, undoubtedly prevented the death toll from being much worse. We should be proud of our fellow citizens.