The Boston Marathon is a high-profile event with a global feel. It is no surprise it would be attractive to a terrorist with an agenda, or no agenda at all. The world was watching, and someone wanted to put on a terrifying show. That President Obama did not say the word “terror” or “terrorism” in his initial statement is of little import. It happened: A name is just a name.
I happened to be just a few miles away when the explosions occurred, preparing to teach a class with the top leadership from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They had just left the Marathon, but then, of course, we all turned around after hearing the news. Only an hour after the explosions, the scene was calm beyond any expectations. Runners were walking away from the finish line, which was now a crime scene. The police smartly pushed all the spectators out of the area, further and further from the focal point, in a controlled evacuation. The medical tent, usually reserved for those who were in pain from running, was quickly being turned into a place to help those who were injured by explosions.