Another act of terror inflicted upon citizens simply going about their daily lives signals that in today’s world at no time and in no place is the assumption of safety afforded to any of us.
In that regard, and that regard alone, do the terrorists claim victory.
Whether a “lone wolf” or a radicalized individual who traveled to or spoke with a leader of whatever faction wherever in the world such ideology is promulgated, those who inflict such carnage can be called nothing but terrorists.
It does not mean we fear them.
We can and will be further on guard or in a more heightened state of awareness when attending public events or as we travel along bustling thoroughfares. We can be smarter about how we pack our luggage, and we can expect our law enforcement agencies, local and federal, will do their very best to protect us.
But nothing in life is guaranteed. We, as Americans, know this. And perhaps none know it better than our brothers and sisters in New York.
It is no more cliché or watered down to say our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of last Tuesday’s attack than when we offered collectively those same sentiments to the victims of any of the mass shootings in recent history. Or to France, to Germany, to London, when those nations’ citizens fell victim to such evil.
Our strength lies in our will not to be intimidated. Our resolve is exampled in our ability to continue to live our lives as we please, to go where we want when we want and to know that — despite the ever-present potential for another attack — we aren’t ever going to give in.
All loss of life is tragic, and no amount of justice will bring peace to the families of the victims — those in New York or anywhere in the world that this type of heinous act has occurred.
Unlike our attackers, however, while we do abhor the actions and the existence of any group that exists to inflict terror, we opt not to hate the people. They who choose to conduct such violence are themselves the victims of their own hatred. And we will not choose it for ourselves.
We choose strength instead.
We choose freedom.
We choose to be a people who live in a land where differences abound and — for most of us — we find that rewarding rather than repulsive.
We are Americans. And we aren’t afraid.
The Goldsboro News-Argus