Charita Goshay: Resistance and resilience: Boston should remind us of who we are

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Charita Goshay, The Repository

By the 1770s, the British were fed up with their American subjects’ attempts to wiggle free from the crown.

To tamp out any foolish notions of independence, they dragged tons of materiel and thousands of soldiers across the ocean and put them in bright red jackets to fight a guerrilla war.

It did not go well for them.

On April 19, 1775, five years after the Boston Massacre, “the shot heard ‘round the world” echoed from the hills of Lexington and Concord, Mass.

Defiance is the shared bloodline of this nation’s people. It is what has always defined us, and what separates us.

From the countless Americans who took to battlefields to preserve, protect and defend us to those who marched along American streets and highways to claim their rightful place, our story is one of resistance and resilience.

However, on Monday, even before the smoke had cleared — literally — some Americans were squabbling, sniping and finger pointing over the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon. The blood has not yet been washed from the streets, but already harebrained conspiracies are being thrown against the wall in hopes that the muck will stick.

It is disheartening and disgraceful. We cannot let such people succeed in dividing this country into factions, which will only serve to weaken it.

We don’t yet know who bombed Boston, or why, and really, it doesn’t matter. Whatever their reasoning, it was undone the moment they killed and maimed innocent people. We cannot let terrorists succeed in driving us toward the abyss of fear and infighting.

But it also isn’t a coincidence that the acts of grace and heroism on Monday far outnumbered a single act of hatred.

Now, we can try to comfort ourselves by increasing safety measures, and while we should embrace common-sense practices, there are no guarantees in an open society. There are only resistance and resilience.

Resistance to the evil that would try to convince us that we must give up being who we are.

Resilience by showing our enemies that surrendering our way of life in exchange for feeling a little more secure isn’t even a remote possibility.

We survived Sept. 11, and we will survive Boston and any other future attacks, so long as we still believe that a free society is the only way to live and that human rights are worth fighting for.

On Monday night, a TV pundit worried aloud that people might not participate in next year’s marathon.

He clearly doesn’t know this country.

If Philadelphia is the cradle of our nation’s birth, Boston is the hand that rocked it.

There will be no greater act of defiance, no better nod to our history of resistance and resilience, than when thousands of Americans take to the streets of Boston next Patriots Day. Count on it.

Reach Charita at 330-580-8313. On Twitter:@cgoshayREP