Among the many heartfelt tributes to Boston that have poured in from across the world since the bombings on Monday, one has a special resonance: The organizers of the world’s next major marathon in London have vowed that they will not cancel their race, which is scheduled for Sunday. “The best way to show solidarity with Boston is to continue,” a government official told the BBC.
As it should be, theirs was a considered decision, and not some act of reckless bravado. London has plenty of experience conducting races amid the threat of terrorism; the marathon there was held every year during the IRA’s bombing campaign in the ’80s, and also after the Al Qaeda attacks on the London Underground in 2005.
The investigation into the Boston bombings is still beginning. But it is clear that attackers often seek out such high-profile targets to garner more attention, and spread more fear. Their aim is usually to demoralize, and to weaken the bonds that hold us together — together as cities, or, in this case, together as an international community of runners. On that score, London’s resolve to go forward will help show that this attack on the spirit of the marathon has failed.