Boston police security ramped up Monday after the blasts at the Boston Marathon. Get used to his sight again at sporting events -- at least for a while. / Michael Ivins, USA TODAY Sports
We knew this day was coming. It was always just a matter of when, and where, and by whom.
You want to see blood in America, you want to turn joy and smiles and life into carnage and screams and death, what do you target?
You target a sports event.
Now we know when, and now we know where.
Sport is a pillar of our national soul, and someone went after it Monday on Boylston Street in Boston. We don't know the motive yet, and we don't know the scope. Organized terror, or individual evil? The feared enemies from overseas, or homegrown lunatics?
But we know that someone thought the Boston Marathon was too inviting to miss. That whatever insane message was to be sent, it would be via the cries of anguish and shock at a race.
This is a day in Boston that celebrates the remarkable endurance of the human body and will. It is a day when runners savor a moment they will cherish all their lives, often with their families standing by to watch and share. Someone wanted to see the finish line strewn with dead bodies.
Often, there is no bottom to depravity.
Sport is not immune. Will never, ever be immune. Sport is where the people are. Sport is where the joy is. Sport is where real life comes to take a break.
A chance to ruin all that, with global publicity and a possible high casualty count as a bonus ... that would inspire certain killers among us.
I have looked at a football stadium with a hundred thousand fans, and wondered when something would happen. I have looked at the wide open, impossible-to-defend spaces of events such as the Masters and Kentucky Derby and Indianapolis 500, and wondered when something would happen.
It is not that anyone has been oblivious to the threat. There is security at the door to virtually every game, as symbolic of the modern age as cell phones. One of my lasting images from the days after 9/11 was going to a Navy football game, and seeing a machine gun post at the front gate.
I have gone through metal detectors at the World Series, had dogs sniff my bags at the Super Bowl and been patted down at the Final Four.
And so many times, with the same thought -- if someone wants to attack a sporting event badly enough, they can. And one day, they will.
This is not the first time for this sort of thing in the USA, of course. Atlanta remains the only Olympic Games to be bombed. But the impact from that was never truly terrifying. Maybe because there was only one dead, and it didn't happen at an actual Olympic venue. But more importantly, in 1996, we did not really realize how vulnerable we were.
We would come to understand five years later.
So here is the question that goes with living in the 21st century, for we have had to ask ourselves this before, and will again.
What do we do now?
The security will be amped up again at the gates (for a little while, anyway) and we will be keeping our eyes open for anything suspicious (until we start forgetting again).
But if you are going to have a Boston Marathon, you are going to have miles and miles of sidewalks and streets, and thousands of people. In the end, we do what we always do. We live our lives, and hope no bad guys are in the house.
That is absolutely mandatory, but will never be a sure thing, because one skewered rule of terror is especially true at the sports events we love the most: If 100,000 people are there, and 99,999 have not come to plant a bomb, it will still be a horrible day.
Monday was a horrible day.
Copyright 2013 USATODAY.com
Read the original story: Lopresti: Sport is where joy is, and where some ruin it