By: Bob George/BosSports.net
April 15, 2013

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For many years they thought something like this would happen at the Super Bowl or the World Series, or maybe even the Olympics.

It's a good bet that no one ever considered the Boston Marathon as such an event.

On Monday, the venerable Boston track and field event which has been ongoing for 116 years was ravaged with two explosions that happened near the finish line. At last report three people were killed, over 130 people were injured, and many people in the Boston area and all over Commonwealth of Massachusetts were completely frazzled by this horrific event.

To look at the videos, to listen to the people talk, to listen reporters doing their job, one can clearly see the horrible situation that downtown Boston withstood on Monday. The awful scenes of people with mutilated limbs and other various damaged parts of their body being hauled off in ambulances was at times too much to watch and absorb. The television coverage encompassed almost every television station, both cable and over the air, just enough to portray the magnitude of this horrific tragedy.

President Obama addressed the nation today at about 6:00 PM Eastern time. He promised that the full weight of the government would be sent towards Boston in terms of financial and logistical help. He also promised that those responsible for this tragedy would be brought to justice.

Remember that this is an event that was famous for people like Bill Rogers and Joan Benoit Samuelson showing off the United States' superiority in long distance running. This event became comical in 1980 when Rosie Ruiz gained national notoriety by jumping in near the end of the race and stealing a win that was later taken away from her, even though she never backed down from her claim of running the entire race.

If Ruiz isn't completely forgotten by now, she should be. This event will now be forever defined by this awful event, not by some stupid prank 33 years ago.

There are ramifications around the sporting world. All four Boston pro sports teams have issued statements praying for the families of the victims of the explosions. Monday night's Boston Bruins-Ottawa Senators game has been postponed, and Tuesday night's Boston Celtics-Indiana Pacers game has been completely canceled and will not be made up. The Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Monday morning at Fenway Park, sweeping Tampa Bay three straight games, and nobody cares.

Plain and simple, tragedy and terrorism have hit Boston.

New York City had to deal with this back on September 11, 2001 and it involved Boston also as most of the planes that were destroyed on that horrible day emanated from Logan Airport. But this tragedy is all Boston's. It happened here. It happened during one of Boston's most high-profile events. And it happened in front of the entire world.

So what becomes of Boston now? What becomes of the Marathon? What becomes of all other high-profile events to take place in the city and in this area?

What will happen now when the Patriots play at Gillette Stadium? Will everybody be searched for bombs? Will there be so much security at Gillette Stadium that you can no longer enjoy coming for Patriots games? What about tailgates out in the parking lot? Will they now be made illegal?

What about going to Fenway Park? Fenway Park would be inviting target for terrorists. Will it be safe to go there anymore? Given its cathedral-like perception, will Fenway Park need to be protected even more stringently than Gillette Stadium?

TD Garden isn't quite as well known as Fenway Park or Gillette Stadium, but will it be safe to go see a Boston Bruins game or the Boston Celtics anymore? Will you feel safe going into that building or will you always live in fear that some terrorist thug will put a few well-placed bombs and bring the entire building down while you're inside?

In two weeks there will be a marathon in London. Already they are making plans to make sure that something like this doesn't happen over there. What about marathons in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco? How will those marathons be affected by today's tragedy in Boston?

Whatever becomes of today's tragedy, one can only hope that this doesn't spell the end of the Boston Marathon.

President Obama referred to Boston as a "resilient and strong city" that will rebound from this tragedy, and everybody New England knows that is absolutely true. New Englanders will get over this, Bostonians will get over this, everybody will move forward and everybody will try and take the necessary precautions to prevent something like this in the future.

But is the Boston Marathon an event that can't be protected? Is it so high-profile and so vulnerable to terrorist thugs that everybody's safety can no longer be guaranteed? Will the cities around the world that are also slated to hold marathons in the future be also so worried about their safety that these events may become a thing of the past?

Whatever becomes of this, you have to keep in mind that these events are long-standing traditions, especially the one here in Boston. For this event to be jeopardized by some terrorist idiots who think they're making some sort of big majestic statement by blowing up people and scaring the daylights out of everybody, it simply cannot be allowed to happen.

The Marathon is one of Boston's grandest traditions, and not just in the world of sports. It is a source of pride for the city, a venerable event that draws the attention of the entire world. It is true that Americans no longer win it, but instead runners from other countries with names you can't spell or pronounce. But the event still has the grandeur, and nothing must cause it to be canceled or run so differently in the future that the marathon no longer maintains its long-standing identity.

Let's hope that Boston figures out what went wrong and how to fix it. The federal government is involved and they can be part of the solution as well. The most important thing of all is that terrorists who intend to do great harm to cities and lots and lots of people have to be convinced that these sorts of things won't change anything. Life will go on, these events will go on, and Boston and all other similar cities will continue to be what they are and continue to do the things that they like to do. People need to live in peace and events like this need to be carried on in peace. The tradition of the Boston Marathon is something that Boston is always been proud of and no terrorist should ever try and put asunder.

Everybody in the USA will keep the three people who died in this tragedy in their thoughts and prayers. Everybody will also be thinking about the several hundred people that were injured as well. Everybody will be hoping that a solution will be brokered so that next year the Boston Marathon will simply run without anyone being too preoccupied over any sort of danger.

And let the Boston Marathon and all other Great American sports traditions be what they are. Terrorists should find some other way to get their messages across to the people they wish to reach.

That assumes that anybody can be found who actually cares about what they think. Right now nobody cares about anything but the city, the dead and injured, and the fact that life must go on without these terrorists being any issue at all.


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