From our Compare and Contrast in Clear Idiomatic English desk
The local dailies adopt very different stances in today’s editorials about the Marathon bombing.
Start with the Boston Globe, which urges Bostonians to take the high road.
BOSTON REMEMBERS its pain. The inscription on the back of the Beacon Hill memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and his legendary Civil War regiment declares, “The memory of the just is blessed.” The plaque on the Bay Village site of the Cocoanut Grove fire describes a “phoenix out of the ashes.” The Public Garden memorial to those who lost their lives on 9/11 proclaims, “The people of Massachusetts will always remember. . .”
A commitment to rise to the occasion, to endure what must be endured, to remember all who suffered and lost their lives in times of strife, is written into the fabric of the city . . . And just as the vibrant city surrounding the site of the Boston Massacre is the ultimate tribute to the Revolutionary generation, a renewed embrace of the fellowship inherent in the global marathon will be Boston’s way of honoring those who were killed or injured on April 15, 2013.
In other words, summoning the better angels of our nature, to borrow from Abraham Lincoln.
Crosstown at the Boston Herald, though, the tone is quite different.
Justice demands, get the bastards
Once again this nation has come under attack. But this time it is onour territory. This time it is on that patch of sacred ground we call Boston. And it was on that special day we reserve for celebrating everything that is good about our city — the day we welcome the world and its best runners into our midst. The day we make them part of our community for just a little while.
But on that day — Marathon Day, Patriots Day — this town was violated by those who clearly have no respect for life, particularly for the American way of life. On that day two well-placed and well-timed bombs brought the Marathon to a screeching halt, sent scores of spectators to the hospital and brought the terrorists what they wanted, what terrorists always seek — chaos, confusion and fear.
But, the editorial concludes, “[w]e will not live in fear. We will demand that the cowardly bastards who did this be brought to justice. Nothing else will do.”
Summoning the bitter angels of our nature, eh?