Saw cheering crowds all over Boston, especially in the immediate aftermath after the capture of second Boston marathon bomber? I figure everyone has. I was glad the ordeal was over and I live on the other coast. I did not start thinking about it one way or another until I got together with friends and they voiced their opinions about the cheering.
Most thought maybe the celebration should not have been so overt. I was of the opinion that this was something unprecedented in America where a whole city was locked down and fear that someone was on the loose with bombs strapped to his body ready for more bloodshed.
The whole event lead me to think back to the celebration in some parts of the Middle East after 9/11 where crowds celebrated our pain and thank God and prayed for more of our destruction. It didn't hurt me. Like every American, I wanted to strike back at those who caused my fellow citizens pain and death. Coldly, I thought "wait till we come after you".
Of course, the folks we wanted dead were in Afghanistan. There are bad guys in the Middle East as we later find out in Iraq and pretty much everywhere else.
But I think those celebrations in Boston and the ones on the Middle East and elsewhere regarding 9/11 are different. We know why those took place after 9/11. For the Bostonians, their lives were threatened. Disrupted. For a day, they lived in fears not knowing when the next terror attack was coming from. And they were forced to stay in their homes.
And when the last of two terrorists were captured, the Bostonians cheered the end to the ordeal. They were not cheering to the capture of a cold-blooded murderer. Because I know this: those same folks cheering would gladly forgo that if it would bring back the lives of those killed in the marathon bombing, the MIT officer killed while sitting in his patrol vehicle, and put back the lives and limbs of those injured.