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The Boston Globe


derrick z. jackson

The decency to bury a body

The body of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev has finally been buried, in a Muslim cemetery in Virginia. But coming nearly three weeks after his death, the resolution does not answer the original question. If we’re so “Boston Strong,” how could one corpse scare common sense to death?

Not one major political figure in Massachusetts had the guts to say the obvious as Tsarnaev lay in suspended non-animation at a funeral home in Worcester. He could hurt no one any more. All he was since April 19 was rotting flesh, crumbling into dust. As the late comedian Richard Pryor noted in a memorable 1975 routine, the “ultimate test” is whether you can survive death.

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