Viewpoint: Remember American spirit in time of tragedy

By Reubin Turner

My mom says she, along with countless other parents in Oklahoma City, were in a panic, scrambling to make sure their children were safe. I was 2 years old when it happened, and so naturally I have no exact recollection of that day.

Others searched to see if their loved ones would be one of the 168 lives claimed as a result of the Oklahoma City bombing of the Federal Murrah Building in downtown Oklahoma City.

Almost 18 years after the attack, yet another bombing has rocked the nation at an event that in the past has elicited feelings of fulfillment and accomplishment.

Monday, three explosions went off at the annual Boston Marathon in Boston, Mass. According to the New York Times, the finish line, “normally a festive zone … was like a warzone.” Some marathon runners, who were close to the finish line when the explosions occurred, lost their legs as a result of the bombs and there were also three fatalities. Disbelief, bewilderment and most certainly anguish fill the hearts of many Americans as the story unfolds about the tragedy.

President Barack Obama seemed to embody the spirit of the country when he said those behind the bombings will “feel the full weight of justice.”

And if history is any indicator, they will. Not because they will most likely be caught and apprehended and taken into a holding cell where they’ll await a cold and unsympathetic judge and grand jury.

Not because they most likely, in the event they are tried and found guilty, will be sentenced to at the very least life without the possibility of parole. And not because they will be subject to years of judgment and disdain by those from both the national and the international communities. But because whatever they set out to accomplish, they’ve already failed.

The city of Boston is already rallying around the families of victims, offering words of solace and comfort in an effort to immediately start in the path to rebuilding.

Obama has informed Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick that the government is ready to provide any needed support “as they respond to the incident.”

Although I may not remember much about the Oklahoma City bombing that occurred almost 18 years ago, but one thing certainly stands out in my mind: Oklahoma City is a stronger because of it.

And I have no doubt that Boston, like any other American city that has or will face in the future tragedies such as these, will rise above this through continued prayer and support. It will not define them. That is not the spirit of America, and it is in times like these, we are most reminded of it.

Reubin Turner is a sophomore Economics major from Edmond, Okla.