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    Why does it take attacks to unite us?

    WHY IS it that the only time we actually sing the words of “God Bless America” together with true emotion is when there’s been a random and violent attack against people with whom we identify (“Apprehension of second suspect followed by cheers and relief,” Metro, April 20)? Why do we wave the flag and shout “USA” only when we feel aggrieved or are relishing a victory over an enemy?

    Although I feel grief over the Marathon bombing, I will not allow my grief to be manipulated by the media. I will not appropriate the pain and suffering of those who were killed and maimed and the anguish of their families and friends. And I will not translate the bravery shown by first responders and courageous people as mine.

    What I will do is wait for the day to sing “God Bless America” when troubled neighborhoods have been made safe and whole due to our state’s support of violence prevention youth programs, and when we have resources available to families who have disturbed children to receive essential mental health services. And I will wait until Congress finally passes gun safety measures that ensure that people like these two perpetrators of horrific terror cannot get weapons that can cause such misery.

    Carol Kamin