Editorial: A terribly, eerily familiar picture

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Thick smoke boiling up from a city street, throngs of frightened people running away — the scene was so terribly, eerily familiar.

You can’t help but wonder if this is precisely the picture that was envisioned by the person or people who planted at least two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday.

A picture of Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta, in 1996. A picture of Lower Manhattan, 2001.

A picture, plain and simple, of terror.

Who? Why? Americans simply don’t know yet.

What we do know is that the two explosions, one right after the other, claimed three lives in Boston’s Copley Square almost immediately and injured more than 130 runners and bystanders.

We know that it’s difficult to avoid making assumptions and comparisons, even though there’s no value or comfort in doing so.

We know a terribly familiar sense of anger and revulsion but are stunned just the same. Oh no. Not again.

We also know that, mercifully, hundreds of medical personnel were already on the scene, waiting to treat minor injuries at the end of this annual endurance test. We know that people helped each other to escape, that people in fear for their own lives stopped to try to bind up the wounds of others, that people lined up to give blood in Boston even though there was no call or need for it.

We know that in Stark County, as in so many other places, families pulled every string they could think of to check on the safety of loved ones.

We know that in Stark County, as in so many other places, a host of prayers went up for total strangers.

We know that the diabolical has occurred again, and with it another round of fear, uncertainly and heartbreak.

But we know, too, that this outrage will not go unanswered.

Canton, Ohio, Repository